What Is a Trust?
A trust is a legal document that details where and to whom assets, property, or money are to be bequeathed to the heirs/inheritors of a trust. Many people think of trusts as records only meant for the wealthy, but that is not the case anymore; trusts are crucial for anyone who has assets and should be used by the young, old, rich, poor, and everyone in between.
Trusts do take a lawyer to set up properly, and those attorneys do require payment for these services, but the benefits outweigh these costs. It is little wonder, then, that many people in Placer choose to establish trusts instead of enacting wills, so their property and assets transfer automatically to their heirs. While less popular, people do still opt to enact, in lieu of a trust, a Last Will and Testament upon their death. While it is possible to have a trust and a Last Will and Testament simultaneously, they are different documents with distinctive functions outside bestowing assets and wealth to beneficiaries/trustees.
What Are the Differences Between Trusts and Wills?
Both trusts and wills are documents detailing where your capital, holdings, property, and other assets are to be bequeathed or passed to the person or people. The difference between these documents is in two important aspects: their timelines and who administers them.
A Last Will and Testament only becomes active upon the enactor’s death, whereas a trust is functioning as soon as created, which is why sometimes a trust is referred to as a “living trust.” Even under a different title, it is essentially the same thing. Furthermore, a will must go through probate court and can be contested by anyone for any reason, while a trust does not and cannot be contested without significant adequate cause. Probate court, especially in California, is commonly a long process requiring money paid in court payments, taxes, and other fees.
Unfortunately, not all trusts are flawless, and sometimes, a trust litigation attorney’s services must be engaged. These conditions that warrant dispute are:
The Creator of the Trust Has Been Coerced
Unfortunately, sometimes the creator of the trust was intimidated, pressured, or deceived into creating a trust or adjusting the contents of the trust in a way beneficial to a specific person or persons for ill-gotten gain.
This coercion can render the trust invalid and is also considered a form of financial elder abuse. Elder abuse can carry criminal penalties under the law as well as financial penalties if proven in court. Much like the legal authority of the executor being in question, there needs to be substantial proof of coercion present and having legal representation to put forward your case in this instance is of import.