What is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust in California?

There are many different ways to go about estate planning, and it is important to find the best plan for you. Read on to learn more about your various options and the difference between a will and a trust.

What is a Will?

When creating an estate plan, many people will choose to create a will. A will is a legal document that allows an individual to declare how they want their assets to be handled and distributed in the event of their passing. Having a will can prevent any concerns about what would happen to an individual’s assets if they are left unmanaged. In addition, a will can make sure that important belongings do not end up in the wrong hands. This also avoids any disagreements between loved ones over where and to whom the assets belong. If an individual passes away without a will, it is called dying “intestate.” This means their assets are given to, and can be distributed by, the state of California. In the event of this, the state determines who the assets belong to based on the surviving family members of the deceased. This will mean that if you intended for your loved ones to obtain certain assets, they may not get them. 

What is a Trust?

Another great way to manage assets is to create trusts. A trust is a contract between the estate and a trustee. A trustee is a person who manages the trust for the individual who benefits from it, otherwise known as a beneficiary. The arrangement of a trust allows a trustee to hold the assets on their behalf. There are many benefits to setting up a trust. Trusts avoid probate, making it possible for a beneficiary to gain access to the assets faster. It also allows a trustor, the owner of the estate, the opportunity to control their wealth by deciding who the assets belong to. Similar to a will, they are able to ensure their properties end up in the right hands. There are several different types of trusts that may be created in California. This may include but is not limited to:

  • Revocable Trust
  • Irrevocable Trust
  • Testamentary Trust
  • Inter Vivos Trust
  • Life Insurance Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Generation-Skipping Trust
  • Charitable Remainder and Charitable Leads Trusts

If you have any questions regarding the estate planning process, be sure to reach out to our experienced firm right away.

Contact our Firm

Working with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as Jaci Feldman of the Woodland Hills, California, Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman, will ensure that you are taken care of when you need it most. Do not delay. Estate planning is a more urgent matter than you may think. You never know what the future holds. Contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation today.

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