It is fortunate that there are so many options available when it comes to estate planning. In particular, the versatility of trusts can help California residents ensure that their exact wishes are followed after their passing. For some individuals, the use of a testamentary trust could allow them that sense of security.
A testamentary trust goes into effect after a person’s passing. If individuals have minor loved ones or loved ones with special needs, implementing a testamentary trust may be wise because it can allow assets to be distributed over a period of time and in accordance with specific instructions. As a result, a special needs loved one would be less likely to lose government benefits after receiving an inheritance, and family members not yet adults would have someone in charge of their inheritances until they come of age.
To enact a testamentary trust, individuals would need to leave their instructions in their will regarding the assets they want to be put in the trust and who the beneficiaries are. The trustmaker should also appoint an executor who will follow these instructions properly and appoint a trustee who is responsible and trustworthy. The trustee would then be in charge of managing the trust and distributing assets as necessary.
Many California residents may have concerns about leaving assets directly to loved ones for numerous reasons. As mentioned, minor children and loved ones with special needs may not benefit from a direct windfall, and some families may have individuals who have substance abuse issues or who are simply not good with money. Fortunately, trusts can help account for these details and ensure that future generations are provided for in accordance with specific wishes.