North Bay Area Estate Planning Attorneys Draft Trusts and Handle Disputes

Cogent advice, comprehensive planning and aggressive representation

North Bay residents looking to preserve their wealth for retirement and as a legacy for their offspring, often rely on one or more trusts. At Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti & Heppell, PC, our estate planning attorneys provide personalized advice on how certain types of trusts might help you achieve specific goals. Our knowledge and experience enable us to draft documents precisely so there is no doubt about your intentions. Finally, since trusts are customized instruments, we are able to tailor the terms to your circumstances.

Types of trusts and their advantages

A trust is a legal entity you create to hold property so that the trust becomes the legal owner. When you place assets in a trust, you can include a provision giving you access to the assets without reservation or under certain conditions. This might be beneficial for tax purposes, to maintain your ability to collect certain benefits or to shield property from creditors and claimants. This might means greater security and protection. Other benefits that could interest you include:

  • Avoiding probate — Unlike a will, which can get tied up in probate for several months or longer, property in a trust passes automatically to your named beneficiaries upon your death.
  • Conditions on bequests — When you give a bequest in a will, you are limited in the types of conditions you can put on the gift. When you establish a trust, you can pay out the bequest over time and place requirements on the beneficiaries, such as maintaining sobriety or completing college.
  • Asset management — You can hire a trustee to oversee your trust and mandate professional management the assets.

The two main categories of trusts are revocable and irrevocable. A revocable trust is one you can modify or dissolve at any time. A common example is a living trust that lets the trust creator, sometimes known as the grantor, enjoy their assets throughout their lifetime. Irrevocable trusts are harder to change, because the beneficiaries must consent to any alteration of the terms. Irrevocable trusts provide extra tax benefits and greater protection for individuals at high risk of lawsuits.

Popular types of trusts include:

  • Special needs trust — Provides support for a disabled loved one while maintaining their eligibility for government benefits
  • Spendthrift trust — Provides an allowance for a loved one who might not be able to handle a lump sum bequest responsibly
  • Charitable trust — Establishes or funds a charitable cause
  • Qualified terminal interest property trust — Allows a grantor to give a life interest in a home to a spouse without triggering the gift tax

An estate planning attorney at our firm can help you identify the types of trusts that can meet your needs. From there, we will draft the legal instrument for your execution.

Skilled and dedicated trust litigation attorneys                                                   

Trusts are often subjects of conflict. Our trust litigators represent grantors, trustees and beneficiaries in a wide range of disputes, which can involve the following type of allegations:

  • Mismanagement, misappropriation of assets or embezzlement
  • Accounting irregularities
  • Failure to disperse assets in accordance with trust terms
  • Undue influence on the grantor
  • Grantor’s lack of capacity

With these potentially complex cases, we pool the robust resources of our firm to deliver the highly professional representation you deserve.                                                                                                      

Contact our trust and estate lawyers in Vallejo or Fairfield for comprehensive counsel

Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti & Heppell, PC advises clients on creating trusts to meet a wide range of needs. We also represent parties engaged in trust disputes. To learn more, call us today at 707-674-6057 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.