Orange County Trust Attorney in Laguna Hills Helps with Asset Protection
Helping you reach your wealth preservation goals
Trusts can be an important tool in a comprehensive estate plan. Genevieve Wall, A Law Corporation helps clients from throughout Orange County and Southern California preserve their wealth for their children and grandchildren by setting up trusts. I have more than 30 years' experience in advising Californians on the kind of trust that fits their unique situation.
What is a trust? Why might I need one?
A trust is an independent legal entity created to maintain and invest a sum of money for someone's benefit. That person is the beneficiary of the trust, and the person administering the trust is the trustee. The principal funds in the trust cannot be used by the beneficiary or the trustee; they must remain in the trust. Typically, the trustee invests the principal in bonds, certificates of deposit (CDs) or other low-risk investments — with the goal of providing a maximum return with minimal risk to the principal. The interest is distributed to the beneficiary monthly, quarterly or at some other reasonable interval.
Trusts are valuable estate planning tools because they offer a way to preserve capital while providing income to a child, grandchild or other heir. Some trusts provide an income for the trustor, the person creating the trust, while benefiting a charity or nonprofit organization. At Genevieve Wall, A Law Corporation, I am an experienced estate planner: I advise you on what kind of trust is best for your goals, and I prepare the trust documentation.
Types of trusts
There are a variety of trusts designed to meet different situations and goals. The most popular are:
- Asset protection trust — As the name suggests, this type of trust helps protect your assets from creditors and lawsuits while providing you with an income from those assets. This kind of trust is administered by a trustee such as a bank, investment adviser or attorney.
- Charitable trust — This type of trust enables you to donate to a charity while you are alive and to receive an income from your donation. The charity manages the funds you place in the trust. Upon your death, the trust is dissolved, and the principal goes to the charity.
- Family trust — This is a trust in which you place funds, real estate or other assets for the benefit of one or more family members. Although you cannot place restrictions in your will on when funds or other assets are distributed to an heir, you can do so in a family trust. So, if you want to provide an incentive for a grandchild to complete dental school, you can create a family trust with that grandchild as the beneficiary, stating in the trust that the grandchild can receive the trust assets only upon finishing dental school. Family trusts also can be used as tax shelters.
- Irrevocable trust — As the name suggests, this type of trust cannot be revoked or dissolved. There are many types of irrevocable trusts. Their general purpose is to protect property or other assets and to reduce taxes. An experienced attorney such as Genevieve Wall can advise you on an appropriate irrevocable trust for your situation.
- Revocable living trust — Sometimes simply called living trusts, revocable living trusts are generally used to avoid the probate process. They are not suitable for everyone. An advantage of establishing a living trust is that you are the trustee and can revoke or change the trust at any time. You designate a successor trustee, such as a lawyer, to distribute the trust after your death.
- Special-needs trust — This benefits a child or other family member who has special needs. A good special-needs trust provides support income for the beneficiary while maintaining that person's eligibility for government assistance.
- Pet Trust - For many people, pets are part of the family. Unfortunately, your pets could end up being euthanized when you become incapacitated or pass away - unless you have done something to provide a means to care for them. Pet trusts can be a good solution. California law specifically recognizes trusts for the purpose of caring for a pet. You can set aside an amount of money and leave instructions regarding the care of your pet. As a result, you can be sure that your pet is properly cared for in the event that anything happens to you. We can discuss a variety of solutions - from very simple to the very complex. Whether you just want to ensure that you pet ends up in a good home or you want to treat your four-legged loved one like royalty, a pet trust can help you do that.
It is important for all trust documents to be written and designed carefully in accordance with California trust law to prevent future litigation. A carefully written trust document lessens the chance that a beneficiary will sue a trustee or another beneficiary.
To schedule a free initial consultation on trusts, contact my Laguna Hills office today
If you are considering creating a trust, schedule a free initial consultation with me at, Genevieve Wall, A Law Corporation. Call me at 949.859.0861 or contact me online. I can answer your questions and help you decide if a trust is right for your goals. I serve clients from throughout Orange County and Southern California. Set in the Laguna Hills Civic Center, City Hall building, my office offers free parking, and is accessible by public transportation.
"I have worked with Genevieve over the past ten years since my mother's stroke. She helped me with advanced directives, power of attorney, and through the probate stages. As executor of the estate, I was able to rely on her guidance throughout the process."
–5.0 Rating ★★★★★
"Ms. Wall has been of great assistance in competently preparing our family trusts and assisting with all matters pertaining to the recent death of my mother in law. She is the best example of the professionalism and care for clients that characterizes a great attorney and counselor."
–5.0 Rating ★★★★★