Merced Trusts and Estates Attorney Offers Planning Services

Central California firm handles the creation and administration of legal instruments

A comprehensive estate plan might involve many elements, and it takes a knowledgeable trusts and estates attorney to take care of the complex legal details. At Curry and Curry in Merced, I deliver personalized guidance on trusts, wills and the responsibilities associated with administering these legal instruments. You might be aware of what a living trust can do, but my firm can show you how other types of trusts could lower your tax burden, fund a charitable endeavor or help you get the benefits you need to stay in a nursing home if you need to do so.  

What is the purpose of a living trust?

A revocable living trust is a flexible instrument that many people use to help leave assets to their loved ones in a way that allows them to bypass the probate process. By shifting your property into a living trust, you can access those assets at any time and dissolve the trust completely if you wish. You can designate the beneficiaries who will receive what remains in the trust at the time of your death.

How you might use an irrevocable trust

Unlike revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts usually remain in effect until all of the property in the trust has been distributed in accordance with the grantor’s instructions. There are several reasons why you might want to create an irrevocable living trust, such as:

  • Tax planning and asset protection — If you’re concerned about the value of your estate exceeding the federal exemption amount or are looking to offload income in order to reduce your tax burden, an irrevocable trust may be the answer. I can work with you to identify a customized solution to meet your estate planning goals.
  • Charity — Funding a charitable cause can have tax benefits while also allowing you to support a cause that you believe in. Whether you’re aiming to start a new organization to help others or want to provide donations to an existing nonprofit, my firm offers knowledgeable legal support.
  • Eligibility for benefits — Many families seek assistance from an elder law attorney because they are worried about the cost of long-term care. Frequently, seniors or adults with special needs rely on government benefits such as Medi-Cal to address the financial burden of healthcare costs. However, if the value of a proposed beneficiary’s assets exceeds a certain level, they might not be eligible for the help they require. Under certain circumstances, transferring assets into a trust could be the best way to qualify for certain benefits. I am experienced in drafting and establishing Special Needs Trusts for beneficiaries with disabilities that can protect their continuing eligibility for government benefits while providing funds for allowable extra expenditures for assets or services not covered by those government programs.

Drawing on more than 30 years of experience advising on trusts, wills and probate issues, I can help you develop a multifaceted plan to protect and distribute your assets. 

What to do if you have been appointed as a trustee

Serving as a trustee is a fiduciary duty that could lead to serious negative consequences if you do not perform your role correctly. In some situations, the instructions in a trust are fairly straightforward, but other instruments are highly complex and require significant management. Regardless of the particular circumstances, I help trustees understand and fulfill their responsibilities in order to head off disputes that might deplete the trust assets. Whether you’ve just been named as a trustee or require immediate counsel regarding an ongoing conflict, my firm offers sound, practical guidance.

Contact a California trusts and estates attorney to schedule a meeting  

Curry and Curry in Merced handles various issues relating to California trusts and estates. Please call 209-720-3912 or contact me online to make an appointment for a consultation.