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Understanding various types of trusts when planning an estate

Many California residents have taken steps to protect their assets, document their final wishes and provide for their loved ones' futures by executing thorough estate plans. A well-designed estate plan often includes trusts of some sort. Since there are several different types of trusts, and each person's situation is different, it is advisable to seek clarification and assistance in determining which type best suits a particular estate owner's needs.

One of the most common types of trusts is said to be revocable. Also known as "living trusts," these may be altered or, as the name implies, revoked. Some people choose a revocable trust in an effort to avoid probate. However, this is not also possible; therefore, it may help to seek an attorney's advice before making any such decisions on one's own.

Irrevocable trusts cannot be changed. An estate owner typically names a trustee who will have various duties and rights concerning the trust. This type of trust is most often used when an estate owner wishes to delay the transfer of ownership until a certain condition has been met or event transpires. For instance, an heir might be required to be married before gaining an inheritance.

For those with no legal background, such terms and documents may be difficult to understand. For this and many other reasons, California residents often consult estate planning attorneys for assistance. An attorney can help determine which trusts are best suited to help those interested achieve their immediate and long-term estate goals.

Source: farmandranchguide.com, "Lesson on trusts - living, revocable or irrevocable", July 11, 2016

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