Types of Trusts in California

Comprehensive trust and estate planning services from a top Northern California law firm

At Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti & Heppell, PC, our attorneys provide full assistance with drafting trusts for clients — an important and strategic estate planning service. To learn more about the different types of trusts available and which ones are appropriate for you, refer to the information we’ve provided below.

Our lawyers help clients prepare all types of trusts

Wills, trusts and probate are all important issues when it comes to estate planning. Depending on your circumstances, your beneficiaries and your assets, the following types of trusts may be appropriate for your personal California estate plan:

  • Revocable trusts — As the name would suggest, a revocable trust can be revoked or altered for the duration of your life, and therefore is treated as part of your estate and subject to taxation. After your death, the revocable trust automatically becomes irrevocable and its terms are carried out to your wishes (property distributed to designated beneficiaries, etc.).
  • Irrevocable trusts — An irrevocable trust carries certain tax and other financial benefits, and therefore its terms may not be altered nor may the trust itself be revoked. If an issue with your irrevocable trust arises, your attorney may need to employ different strategies for modifying the trust or otherwise initiate trust litigation.
  • Living trusts — You may create a living trust during your lifetime in order to glean certain financial benefits, to avoid certain taxes or to maintain financial privacy for certain reasons. Additionally, a living trust is a commonly used tool when lawyers arrange for clients to avoid probate.
  • Generation-skipping trusts — A generation-skipping trust allows you to skip a generation when designating your beneficiaries for tax exemption. In other words, you can allocate certain assets to your grandchildren and arrange for those assets to be untaxed.
  • Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT) — A type of irrevocable trust that allows you to gift your home to a beneficiary with the beneficiary owing only a low gift tax value instead of the higher estate tax.
  • Special Needs Trusts — If you have physically or mentally disabled beneficiaries, a special needs trust will allow you to provide for their care with help from a trustee, while still maintaining their eligibility for certain government disability benefits.
  • Life Insurance Trust — A type of irrevocable trust that allows your beneficiary or beneficiaries to receive your life insurance benefits without being subject to hefty estate taxes.
  • Charitable Trust — A type of irrevocable trust that designates a certain portion of your estate for one or more charitable organizations. You and the charitable organization(s) can enjoy significant tax breaks when you set up a charitable trust.
  • Bypass Trusts — This is sometimes called a Married A-B trust, because it involves setting up two living trusts — one for you and one for your spouse — and arranging for all assets to transfer into the surviving spouse’s trust without being subject to gift or estate taxes in the event that one of you dies.
  • Testamentary Trust — A trust that is created based on the terms of your will and goes into effect after your death.
  • Qualified Terminable Interest Property (Q-TIP) Trust — Allows your surviving spouse to receive unlimited assets from you after your death without paying estate taxes, and allows those assets to pass on to your heirs once your spouse dies.
  • Pet Trusts — If you have a pet, a pet trust allows you to arrange for its care in the event that you die or become otherwise incapable of caring for it.


Consult an attorney for help setting up any type of trust in California

At Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti & Heppell, PC, our lawyers have experience arranging any type of revocable or irrevocable trust you may require. To learn more about how we can help you, call 707-552-3630 or contact us online today.

We offer flexible hours of availability and schedule appointments outside the normal workday at our clients’ convenience. Members of our staff speak Spanish, and we also offer Tagalog and Ilocano translation services for our diverse client base. Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti & Heppell, PC maintains offices in Vallejo and Fairfield-Suisun, California, and represents clients throughout Solano County, Contra Costa County and Napa County.