WHEN TRUSTS ARE BETTER THAN WILLS
From an estate planning perspective, it may be better for California residents to have a trust as opposed to a will. One of the benefits of a trust is that it can help those who become disabled during their lives. Instead of having a guardian appointed by a judge manage a disabled person's affairs, the trust can name a person to fulfill this role. When an individual does die, assets can be transferred without a need to go through probate.
This means that there will not be a will contest or other significant legal wrangling. Furthermore, the trust is a private document that is not open to inspection by the public. By keeping assets in a trust, there is no need to go through probate in each state where a person lives or owns property. This can make it easier for a trustee or other surviving family members to settle an estate after an individual dies.
Trusts can do a better job of ensuring that children and grandchildren get and keep their inheritance. This is because the trust can manage the money on their behalf, and funds are protected in the event of a divorce or remarriage. If assets are left to a child outright, they are generally overseen by a parent who may or may not use them to further the child's interests.
The use of a trust as opposed to a will could make it easier for a person to protect his or her assets and privacy. It may also make it easier to care for minor child's financial and other needs. An attorney may be able to help create a trust or other estate plan documents that are tailored to a person's current and potential future needs.