Advanced Estate Planning Tools: Wills And Trusts

During their lifetime, individuals amass diverse assets and property. Whether you own a home or car or you have money in investment holdings, you must make decisions about what to do with these assets when you pass away.

If you pass away without any provisions in place, your money and property will be distributed according to California law. The law dictates who will receive your assets based upon their relationship to you. This could be at odds with how you want your estate distributed. Making these decisions in advance with help from Kenneth E. Devore & Associates gives you peace of mind and provides instructions for your loved ones.

A Basic Component

As a basic component of estate planning, a will serves your instructions for how you want your affairs handled. You can use a will to distribute property, name an executor for your estate and designate a guardian for any minor children. To be valid, a will must be:

  • In writing
  • Signed by two witnesses who each saw you and one another sign the document

Failing to adhere to these legal requirements can invalidate your will. Our attorneys can help you draft, review and update a will.

Protect And Manage Assets

A trust allows you to protect, hold and manage assets either during your lifetime or after you pass away. Although there are many kinds of trusts, the basic elements are the same. The grantor places assets in the trust and appoints a trustee to administer and distribute assets to the designated beneficiary.

You can use a trust to provide for a loved one with special needs, donate property to charity or hold assets for minor beneficiaries until they come of age or attain goals. A trust can also shield assets from estate taxes and eliminate the need for probate. Unlike a will, which only goes into effect upon your death, a living trust can be used to protect your assets should you become incapacitated.

Let Us Help You Protect Your Legacy

Do not leave behind unsolved problems for your family to sort out during their time of grief. We can help you utilize estate planning tools to protect the legacy you spent a lifetime building. To schedule an appointment with an estate planning lawyer, call 818-338-3252 or reach the firm by email. From our Westlake Village office, we serve clients throughout Ventura County and Los Angeles County.