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trusts & trust administration Archives

How the Cy Pres doctrine may help to save charitable trusts

In California, some people would like to leave money to charities in their estate plans. They are able to do so by establishing charitable trusts. These are trusts that have charitable purposes in order to benefit the public good in some way. Examples of charitable purposes might include education, religion, poverty relief, to benefit cities and others.

How California residents can protect their assets after death

According to WealthCounsel's estate planning awareness survey, 40 percent of Americans have set up a will but only 17 percent have a trust in place. The low numbers have some experts worried that many are not adequately protecting their assets for the benefit of their heirs. Whether they have a home, savings account or 401(k) plan, their assets will one day be distributed, so it's important to have an estate plan to protect their best interests.

Types of trusts

California residents have many options with regard to estate planning tools. One of these options, trusts, can be used to ensure that certain assets are protected and distributed to the intended beneficiaries according to the wishes of the trust's creator. There are multiple types of trusts one can choose from to make sure that the assets intended for their heirs are properly managed.

Think of estate planning during divorce

California residents have a lot on their mind when going through a divorce. Most people probably are not thinking about estate planning. However, divorcing spouses may need to update their existing wills, trusts, retirement beneficiaries and end-of-life documentation.

Why decanting may be best when altering a trust

California residents may have a need to either cancel or make changes to an irrevocable trust. While it may be more difficult to do so compared to a revocable trust, there is a process that allows that to happen. It is called decanting, and it involves creating a second trust and pouring assets into it from the original trust. Once the asses are inside of the second trust, its terms will govern how assets are to be treated.

An overview of common trusts

The use of a trust may make it easier for California residents to exercise control over their assets. The use of a marital trust may be appropriate when an individual has children from previous marriages. The use of a bypass trust may ideal for those looking to maximize their lifetime estate tax exemption.

Reducing the risks involved with administering trusts

In California, more and more people are choosing to set up trusts as part of their estate plans. Today, many new types of trusts are available, and they are much more complex. Modern trusts may have portfolios that include far more than the traditional stocks, bonds and real estate. Some trusts might include businesses, collectibles, art, commodities and minerals. With more diversified portfolios, these trusts are extremely difficult to administer.

Different trust assets can raise different issues

Among the tools individuals sometimes use in estate planning and other types of planning are trusts. One of the ways trusts vary from one another is in what assets they contain. There are a range of different types of assets a person could opt to put into a trust.

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