ROBERT K. SMITH, ATTORNEY
TrustSmiths.com (818) 949-0100
Servicing The Greater Los Angeles Area
including La Canada, Arcadia, Burbank, Glendale, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Redondo Beach,
San Marino and Santa Clarita
The most basic document for memorializing a person's estate plan, a will is written to direct who is to receive a person's assets and to name a person to be in charge of implementing the plan. A guardian for minor children typically is named in a will. When a person dies without a written estate plan, either a will or trust, state law provides a plan for distribution of trust assets called "intestacy." The following terms may be found in a will:
Testator: The person who writes the will to state his or her plan.
Beneficiaries: The persons who will receive the assets as gifts/inheritances.
Executor: The person responsible for winding up the financial affairs for the testator, including
paying bills, filing tax returns and distributing assets to beneficiaries.
Guardian: The person named to take physical custody of, and provide care for, minor children.
Trustee: The person named to control and manage assets for beneficiaries. See Living Trusts below for a detailed description of trustee under that topic.