2000 Alameda de Las Pulgas, Suite 250, San Mateo, CA 94403-1271 • Phone 650-341-2900
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Providing Litigation, planning and transactional services

Skilled Lawyers Helping You Understand Trust Classifications in California

Guiding you in making the right choice

In addition to the broad classifications of trusts — revocable and irrevocable, living and testamentary — trusts can fall into further classifications based on their purpose and the specific characteristics that help them fulfill that purpose. Our San Francisco trusts lawyers at Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu LLP understand the various types of trusts available and advise clients in how to use these trusts to meet their financial goals.

Types of trusts

Following are some types of trusts with which our firm can assist you:

  • Spendthrift trust — A spendthrift trust is useful when giving a gift to a beneficiary who is not good with money or has trouble with creditors. Adding a spendthrift provision to a trust instrument prevents the beneficiary from voluntarily or involuntarily assigning or selling his or her interest in the trust. In addition, this provision may give the trustee discretion to withhold disbursements if a concern arises that the beneficiary is wasting the money.
  • Special needs trusts — People usually establish special needs trusts for the benefit of a disabled or elderly person who receives government assistance such as Medicaid. A trusts lawyer in San Francisco can specially draft a trust that can provide income to such a beneficiary without interfering with his or her qualification for government assistance.
  • Charitable trusts —Unlike most other types of trusts in San Francisco, a settlor of a charitable trust does not need to name a specific beneficiary. These trusts are also often exempt from complex legal requirements governing the length of time a trust can exist. Instead, charitable trusts contribute money to charitable pursuits in accordance with the terms of the trust and, to some extent, the discretion of the trustee.

These are just a few common examples of trusts. A multitude of recognized trust types are available that are designed to lessen the burden of the federal estate tax and other tax purposes. At Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu LLP, we can help you with all aspects of estate planning — from setting up a living trust to handling probate matters. In addition, our lawyers recognize that trusts can range from very simple to very complicated. They may have one or more trustees and one or more beneficiaries. Trusts can be constructed to make different disbursements to different sets of beneficiaries at different times.

In addition, trusts can make payments from their income or principal, or both. Trusts can even be split purpose, such as a trust that pays income to a beneficiary during his or her lifetime and then distributes the principal to a number of charities after the lead beneficiary dies. This vast flexibility is why trusts have become such an important and useful estate and financial planning tool.

A San Mateo County trusts attorney can help you plan for your financial future

The San Mateo County estate planning lawyers of Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu LLP can review your situation and goals and create a trust or estate plan that meets your needs. 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.

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Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu LLP
2000 Alameda de Las Pulgas, Suite 250
San Mateo, CA, 94403-1271 USA
650-341-2900