Hatley Law Group APC

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Estate planning viewed through the lens of asset protection.®

The Many Benefits A Trust Provides

There are many types of trusts. Each trust provides specific benefits. Attorney Rod Hatley has a profound and discerning understanding of the nuances of each type of trust. He knows which situations are best served by each different type.

The two most common trust types are revocable and irrevocable. In a revocable trust, the person who created the trust (the trustor or grantor) can make changes to the trust and use the assets within it at any time. In an irrevocable trust, the trustor cannot make changes or access the assets in the trust during their lifetime. The trust-held assets only become accessible after the trustor’s death. The main benefit of an irrevocable trust is that it works to protect your assets from creditors.

Assets in a trust may include investments; your home; oil, gas and mineral rights; collections; a business; land; life insurance; or other property. Establishing a trust or several trusts can mean that your estate avoids having to pass through California probate which is a long, costly and often arduous process. This may be the greatest overall advantage a trust offers.

An Overview Of Trust-Related Terms

  • The trustor or trustmaker is the person who creates the trust. This person is sometimes called the grantor.
  • The testator is the person who writes and signs their last will and testament.
  • The trustee is the person (can be more than one) who oversees the management of the assets in a trust.
  • The beneficiary (can be more than one) is the person or persons who are named in the will to receive the assets which are in the trust. A trustee may also be a beneficiary. A trustor may also be a trustee.
  • Per stirpes is a Latin term and means “right of representation.” This is how most assets are handed down, from parents to children. If the parents outlive the children, but there are grandchildren, then those assets will go to the grandchildren per stirpes. If there is no will, then the state will follow per stirpes. A will and other estate planning tools can alter the way assets are distributed after a person’s death.
  • The executor is the person named in a will or by the probate court to oversee and manage the affairs of the person who died and is sometimes called a personal representative.
  • A legacy is the personal property that is left when a person dies. A more modern understanding of this term includes the spirit, values, insights, stories, and experiences a person leaves to their loved ones.

It is important to understand the meaning of the most commonly used estate planning terms so that you are better able to discuss, digest and more accurately communicate your wishes. Planning well can also enable your estate to avoid excessive state and federal taxes, some of which are 40%.

Understanding Trust Administration

Trusts administration may sound like a complex financial term, but really the practice of administering a trust is quite common. A trustee is a trust administrator, typically a person who is designated by the trustmaker. An administrator may also be a bank or even a trust company. The administrator has duties such as filing the tax returns, managing the assets to the benefit of the beneficiaries and communicating with the beneficiaries as to what is happening with the trust.

Plan Well For The Future And Leave A Lasting Legacy

Hatley Law Group APC was founded with a mission: to create plans that leave a true legacy. To do that assets must be accurately assessed and appropriately safeguarded. It takes dedicated knowledge and daily work to understand the nuances, opportunities and limitations of the available estate planning tools such as trusts. Call 858-564-7090 to learn more. Rod can also be reached by sending a website contact email to the firm. Headquartered in San Diego, Rod travels around the state to meet and serve clients.