Trusts and Estate Planning should form a part of nearly
every person's financial plan. Individuals with children especially
require the foresight and peace of mind that accompany a formal
estate plan. But even those without children can reap a myriad of
benefits from the careful formulation of a plan for the transfer
of their assets, from a simple will to a complex estate plan or
has formal requirements for preparing and signing a will. Marin
Law Partners, LLP, is skilled and experienced in all aspects of
California law touching on the preparation and execution of wills.
Generally, the individual making a will must declare that the document
being signed is indeed that individual's will. The signature must
be witnessed by at least two witnesses, each of whom must sign in
the others' presence. Further, there are specific requirements
regarding how such signatures are to be made.
wills should be prepared so that they are "self-proving,"
which means that the instrument has been signed with all the formalities
required by California law. A will which has been properly and formally
prepared, by a qualified attorney, can save a great deal of trouble
and effort when witnesses cannot for any reason be located, or have
predeceased the testator.
If a person
dies without a will they are said to have died "intestate,"
and the disposition of their property proceeds under California's
rules of intestate succession. The disposition of property under
these rules depends on the marital status of the decedent and whether
they have children. For example, under California law, only
one-half of an estate will go to the spouse of an intestate decedent.
In a "trust,"
one party, called the "trustee," has legal control over
property transferred to him by the person making the trust, the
"grantor." The trust assets are managed and invested for
the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. Trusts can be established
during the grantor's life - the "living" trust - or set
up by operation of a decedent's will - the "testamentary"
trust. Further, trusts that can be terminated or modified at any
time by the grantor are called "revocable" trusts. Other
trusts are "irrevocable."
There are special
considerations in making a trust in California, a community property
state. For example, making a California living trust may take the
subject property out of the realm of community property and could
therefore have important legal and tax implications for a married
couple, or their heirs.
is a professional service which may incorporate aspects of wills
and/or trusts, and always involves legal and tax implications, in
addition to the wishes of the client. Marin Law Partners,
LLP is a law firm specially qualified to assist you in planning
your estate. The firm brings a unique combination of legal and tax
experience, knowledge and skill to bear upon the client's needs
and wishes with regard to Estate Planning. Contact
us to find out more!
21 Tamal Vista Bld. Suite 204
Corte Madera, CA 94925
575 Jefferson Street
Napa, CA 94559
135 Keller Street, Suite C
Petaluma, CA 94952
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