Too many individuals associate estate planning with death and in doing so turn away from what is truly valuable instrument of asset protection and financial management. A great place to begin learning about and utilizing estate planning is what is known as a “living trust.” This estate planning resource can allow you to both protect assets from taxation and entanglement in government programs and transfer your estate to your loved ones when the time is right and through a mechanism that bypasses the time and expense of probate. To begin benefiting from estate planning, whether through a living trust, will, or other resource, rely on an experienced Fremont estate planning attorney.
Asset Protection is One Function of a Living Trust
Unlike a will, which becomes effective only upon your death, a living trust is effective while you are living (thus the name “living trust”). For many, a primary reason to create a living trust is to protect assets from taxes and government health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. This form of lawful asset protection is accomplished when legal title is transferred from you (the “Grantor”) to a “trustee.” The trustee holds the assets in trust for those who have selected to benefit from them (the “beneficiaries”). Importantly, the law even allows for you to be the trustee of your own living trust, which allows you to retain full control of the assets held in the trust. While you are living, whether as both grantor and trustee or merely grantor, the transfer of title from yourself as an individual to a separate trustee or to yourself as trustee facilitates the protection of trust assets from taxes and government health care programs like Medicaid and Medicare. Such asset protection, naturally, allows you to bequeath more to your loved ones and other intended beneficiaries at the time of your death.