Reliable Guidance from San Mateo Attorneys for Those Planning Trusts and Estates
Experienced lawyers serving the San Francisco Peninsula
The trust can be a useful legal tool for estate planning and other types of wealth management. However, to serve the goals of the settlor — the person who creates a trust — properly, a San Mateo trust lawyer must draft a thorough trust instrument. At Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu LLP, our Bay Area trusts attorneys understand the advantages and disadvantages of the various types of trusts. Our San Francisco estate lawyers listen to what clients want and create well-drafted trusts that serve those goals.
Living vs. testamentary
The terms of a will can create a testamentary trust upon the death of the settlor. Testamentary trusts have become an increasingly valuable tool in estate planning and can be nearly indispensable in more complex estates because they allow much greater flexibility than a will alone. Trusts are, however, also useful outside of the estate planning context. A living settlor can create a trust as a means of maintaining some control over a gift or donation and for other wealth management purposes.
Revocable vs. irrevocable
The settlor can freely modify a revocable trust at any time. An irrevocable trust can be modified only under certain circumstances by a court order. All testamentary trusts are irrevocable, but living trusts may be revocable or irrevocable. A revocable living trust, however, becomes irrevocable upon the death of the settlor. Revocable trusts allow the settlor free access to the property in the trust — but irrevocable trusts have certain tax benefits and other benefits concerning marriage dissolution, Medicaid eligibility and more. A San Francisco estates lawyer at Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu LLP can help you understand the difference between revocable and irrevocable trusts and determine which type of trust is appropriate in a given situation.
Classification by purpose
Beyond these broad types, trusts are further classified according to their purpose. A settlor may establish a trust for a number of purposes that include:
- Providing a source of income to family members
- Helping his or her children pay for college
- Caring for an elderly or disabled loved one or minor child
- Supporting a charity
Trusts allow a great degree of flexibility by allowing settlors to:
- Choose a reliable trustee
- Set terms for how the trust property should be handled
- Control how beneficiaries receive and use the trust property
A trust attorney can help you meet your goals
Whatever your financial or estate planning goals may be, our San Francisco Bay Area trusts lawyers from Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu LLP can help. Our trusts attorneys advise clients in San Francisco and throughout Northern California on issues of estate planning and trust creation and draft specifically tailored documents to meet their goals. Our practice is concentrated in San Mateo County and San Francisco, but we also represent clients in the Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Peninsula and throughout Northern California. Conveniently located at the intersection of Route 92 and U.S. 101, we offer evening and weekend appointments as needed. For a complimentary consultation, contact us today at (650) 341-2900 or leave a brief message on our contact page.