Wills and Trusts : Estate Planning Attorney
Putting in place a valid wills and trusts can help you avoid excessive estate taxes and protect your assets from probate. At the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing, we educate you about the available varieties of wills and trusts and help you provide for your family upon your passing. You have spent the majority of your life working, striving, saving and investing to accumulate your wealth, and we can help you implement an estate plan to protect it.
Put an Experienced Asset Protection Attorney on Your Estate Matter
In addition to my qualifications as an Orange County wills & trusts attorney, I am a Certified Public Accountant and have more than 20 years of focused experience in taxation. I have a master’s degree in taxation specialized in the estate and gift arena, and I can help you determine the tax implications of estate planning decisions.
Providing personal attention and representation from a legal and financial perspective, I can help you select the appropriate will and trusts for your needs.
My firm can help you with:
- Planning and drafting wills
- Living wills and living trusts
- Revocable and irrevocable trusts
- Trusts for minors
- Tax exemption trusts
- Credit shelter trusts
- Q-DOT trusts
- AB trusts
- Credit shelter bypass trusts
- Charitable remainder trusts
- Family trusts
- Special needs trusts
- Trusts for pets
- GRIT (Grantor Retained Income Trust)
- GRUT (Grantor Retained UniTrust)
- GRAT (Grantor Retained Annuity Trust)
- QPRT (Qualified Personal Residence Trust)
- Life insurance trusts (known as an “ILIT”)
- Asset Splits Between Sub-Trusts
- Pour-over wills
My primary goals as your estate planning lawyer will be to minimize your tax liability and protect your assets, starting with appropriate wills and trusts. I will help you explore your options to achieve present and future goals.
What is a Pour-Over Will?
A pour-over will takes your assets that are not already titled in the name of your living trust at the time of your death and pours them into your living trust. Household items and other items that ordinarily do not carry a title, and omitted or overlooked assets that carry a title, are distributed to your beneficiaries according to the terms of living trust via the pour-over provision in your will. By assigning these assets to the living trust, probate is avoided along with the delay and expense of subjecting your assets to probate.
Living trusts are the modern replacement of the traditional “will.” A living trust distributes your estate at death just like a traditional will, but unlike the traditional will, with a living trust your estate is not run through the probate courts. Probating an estate is often costly, time consuming (one-two years) and irritating for your heirs.
Living trusts are effectively used to double the estate tax exemption amount and thus reduce or eliminate estate taxes for married couples by the inclusion of a formula clause. A formula clause takes advantage of the unlimited spousal deduction allowed under the Internal Revenue Code. When the first married individual dies, the trust pays out to the beneficiaries named in the living trust directly, or optionally, an “exemption trust” that can be funded up to the amount of the total unified credit, which is currently $3,500,000.
The surviving spouse is often given the right to the income earned by the assets funded to the exemption trust for life with the trust assets being distributed according to the terms of the exemption trust at his / her death. Without the use of a formula clause, the unified credit on the first spouse to die would be wasted. The remaining amount of the estate (after the unified credit is exhausted) is conveyed to the surviving spouse. Thus, when the first spouse dies, no estate tax is owed. When the second spouse dies, the remaining estate is subject to the surviving spouse’s unified credit, with any excess being subject to the estate tax.
I also can help you with succession and other business matters tied to estate planning. To schedule a reduced rate initial consultation about your legal wills or trusts issue, contact my Tax Law Offices online or call 800.681.1295.