ROBERT K. SMITH, ATTORNEY
TrustSmiths.com (818) 949-0100
Trustsmiths offers a free one hour consulation for a Living Trust Esate Plan and tailors Complete Living Trust Estate Plans to his clients needs.
Click on the titles below for more information
The State will decide who your beneficiaries will be (“intestacy”).
A Judge will decide who will care for your minor children without your input.
See Living Trust information for a comparison between a Will and Living Trust.
There is not one Will form to be used for all situations.
A Will should be "customized" to fit your situation.
A customized Will can include tax planning provisions as well as testamentary trusts to provide for management and control of inheritances.
A Living Trust is created with a document called a Trust Agreement.
You name beneficiaries in the Trust Agreement as you do in a Will.
The maker of the trust is named as the “Trustee” (legal owner of trust assets) and lifetime beneficiary (consumer of trust assets).
You name a Successor Trustee who is responsible to distribute trust assets or manage trust assets for beneficiaries, including the trust maker if incapacitated during lifetime.
You must transfer title to your assets to the trust in order to avoid probate (“Funding”).
Real Estate is transferred to a Living Trust by executing a Quitclaim Deed to the trust.
Newly acquired assets are funded without changing the Living Trust document.
A Power of Attorney is a document used to name another person to make decisions for you.
Generally, there may be a Power of Attorney for financial matters and one for health care.
A Power of Attorney is called “Durable” when the Agent may act if the maker becomes incapacitated.
The maker of the Power of Attorney is called the “Principal” and the person named to make decisions for the Principal is called the “Agent.”
The powers granted to the Agent, either financial or health care decision-making, are set out in the Power of Attorney document utilized.
The Power of Attorney will specify whether the Agent can act immediately or only after a specific event occurs, such as the Principal being declared incapacitated.
A “Springing Power” is often used in estate planning since the Agent does not have the power to act until the Principal is declared incapacitated, usually by doctors.
The Health Care Power of Attorney is also known as a Living Will/Health Care Proxy or an Advance Health Care Directive.
An Agent is named to make health care decisions for the Principal, usually because the Principal is unable to act at some point in time due to health reasons.