A trust is a contract that usually sets forth who will manage one's assets, be in charge of seeing that bills are paid, and how distribution of one's property is to take place upon death.

Named in a trust are "trustees(s)" and, generally, "successor trustee(s)." While the creator(s) of a trust (often referred to as the settlor(s), trustor(s), or grantor(s)) are living, they are generally the trustee(s) of their trust. This means that they are in charge of their trust and can, generally, do as they please with the assets in the trust (within the restrictions of the trust).

The number one advantage of a trust is that, if assets are titled correctly (i.e., the trust is properly "funded"), these assets can pass to those named as beneficiaries without going through the California probate court process.

When creating an estate plan, there are several goals one must keep in mind. The most basic of these goals include:

  • Whom do I want to have what and on what terms?
  • Will my estate go through probate (a long and expensive court process) upon my death? If so, how do I avoid it?
  • Are estate taxes something I am worried about? If so, how do I minimize or avoid them?
  • Who is to be in charge of administering my estate?
  • If I have minor children, who will raise them (handle personal matters and/or finances for them)?

Depending on one's financial situation, a will may be all that one needs to achieve these goals. Or, a living trust may be the best option so that estate taxes are minimized or completely avoided, and probate is not necessary.

An experienced estate planning attorney should be consulted to determine what type of estate planning instruments are best for your situation.

We are here to help you make these decisions. A California estate planning attorney will meet with you, listen to your concerns, analyze your specific situation, and thoroughly discuss with you, your estate planning options.

After you make your decision, we will prepare the necessary documents for you and help you execute your 
estate plan.

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For a better understanding of wills, living trusts and avoiding probate in California, visit this link, Estate Planning Handout.

To view a short video by Long Beach Estate Planning Attorney John T. Anderson on wills, living trusts and estate planning, visit this link, Estate Planning Essentials (Video 1 of 2).

For more information on the specific types of trusts prepared at The Law Office of John T. Anderson, click on the links on the left side of the page.

Please contact our office if you have any questions. We are here to help you.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this website is intended to inform the reader, generally, of issues in California estate planning, trust, and probate law and is not to be the final resource, and should not be considered legal advice. The information is not intended to be all-inclusive. To obtain detailed information or advice regarding a specific legal problem, you should contact a qualified attorney in your geographic area and state. Although attorneys John T. Anderson, Lisa R. Norman, Erin M. Anderson, and John T. Anderson, Jr. (“Attorneys”) intend that this website be correct, complete, and up-to-date, they do not guarantee it to be. It is not intended to be a source of legal advice, thus the reader must seek out specific advice, from competent counsel. Attorneys do not intend links on this website to be referrals or endorsements of the linked entities. Sending e-mails to John@trustlaw.ws or other e-mail addresses associated with attorneys or staff at The Law Office of John T. Anderson does not create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services provided by Attorneys exceeds that provided by other lawyers. To the extent that this website is deemed an “advertisement,” Attorneys advertise only in California and do not seek to represent a person based solely on that person’s visit to this website. Attorneys are licensed to practice law only in California and are willing to appear in courts only in California. Attorneys maintain one office located in Long Beach, California.

The Law Office of John T. Anderson
1741 E. Wardlow Rd., Long Beach, California 90807