Trust Review Services in Southern California

Providing Clients and Their Families With Quality Estate Planning Services

One of the critical components of any well-crafted estate plan is establishing a revocable living trust to help protect assets for yourself and your named beneficiaries. However, many individuals must be made aware that they should periodically review their trusts to determine if they are still meeting their financial goals and in compliance with current law.

In many instances, individuals find that the terms of their living trusts need to be updated or changes made that reflect their present circumstances. Some of the most common reasons that a trust should be scrutinized include a death in the family, the settlor or trustor who created the trust getting a divorce, or the trustor wishing to remove heirs.

However, because California law is ever-changing, hiring an experienced attorney who can provide the legal services you need to thoroughly review your estate planning documents is always best.

The Element Law Firm, PC of Southern California, has extensive experience helping individuals review their living trusts and would be honored to assist you with your legal needs. Contact our law offices and ask to schedule a complimentary 15-minute call to discuss your legal needs and learn how we can help.

Why Do I Need to Hire an Attorney to Review a Trust Document?

A trust review should be conducted on a regular basis by an experienced attorney to determine any further needs you may have since the trust was originally established.

Some of the most essential issues a trust attorney will review include:

Check successor trustees: Many couples name their spouse their successor trustee. However, it is always good practice to name other successor trustees if something happens to you and your spouse simultaneously. If you have remarried, you may need to change how assets are distributed by your co-trustee, especially if you have children from your first marriage.

Check named beneficiaries: Carefully review all named beneficiaries to determine if changes should be made to the trust. For example, if you named your parents, but they are now deceased, the terms of the trust would need to be amended.

Asset protection strategies: In today’s economy, you may wish to transfer assets to the trust to protect them from creditors or in the event of a divorce.

Review estate tax laws: New laws may have gone into effect that may impact the amount of estate taxes your beneficiaries may owe after your death. Therefore, carefully reviewing all trust assets and estate planning documents is advisable to protect future generations.

Many general practice attorneys in California will offer to help you review your estate planning documents. However, hiring an experienced trust lawyer is always best to ensure you receive the legal services you need to safeguard your assets. Contact Element Law Firm, PC, to schedule an initial consultation.

How Often Should I Review a Revocable Living Trust?

No specific rules dictate how often individuals should review wills and trusts. However, it is advisable to conduct periodic reviews every three to five years.

One of the main reasons an estate planning package should be reviewed is that it mostly comes down to changes in tax laws. Tax laws frequently change, and depending on your circumstances, you may need to review your financial records to determine if changes are in order.

Another reason to review a revocable living trust is if you experience changes in your family, such as when your spouse dies, or you divorce or remarry. When the trustor manages their own living trust, they may need to amend who they name as their successor trustee due to changes in their lives. Additionally, in cases of remarriage, the trustor desires to make changes to safeguard trust property for the children produced by their first marriage.

Our Southern California law office will be happy to advise you when your trust documents should be reviewed to verify that your estate plan is still in line with your financial needs and goals.

What are the Advantages of Living Trusts in Southern California?

Establishing a living trust is one of the best steps a person can take to protect their assets and help their family avoid probate court.

Some of the most significant advantages of living trusts include:

  • Help families save money on income and estate taxes.
  • Control how trust assets should be distributed upon the death of the grantor.
  • Protects all the assets placed in the trust should the grantor become incapacitated or suffer a long-term illness.

Another considerable advantage of a trust is that, unlike a will that becomes a public record after probate is complete, the terms of the trust remain private.

Assets that should be placed in a trust include:

  • Real property
  • Bank accounts
  • Mutual funds

Typically, insurance policies are not included in trust property as they have named beneficiaries.

If you need more clarification regarding the advantages of establishing a trust, trust administration, or other estate planning questions, contact Element Law Firm, PC, to learn more.

Can I Count on Your Trust Attorney to Help Me With My Estate Planning Needs?

Element Law Firm, PC is passionate about helping individuals and families with their estate planning needs. We are proud of the professional service we provide clients as we help them have peace of mind knowing their families will be cared for after their death.

Our legal team takes time to make certain we answer your questions and address any concerns you may have during estate planning. We can also help with other aspects of a trust review, such as evaluating pour-over wills to confirm that they adhere to state law and a quitclaim deed that will transfer your real property into a trust.

If you need help with a trust review or other estate planning documents, contact Element Law Firm, PC, at 760-642-6111 and ask to schedule a consultation with our experienced attorney, who can assist you with your needs.