Laila J Kepler Passing on the legacy
family-centered
estate planning
Call today to schedule your
free confidential consultation*
(951) 265-9716

Estate Planning Newsletter

Trusts: Revocable & Irrevocable

Unlike a will or some other types of trusts, which take effect upon the death of their creator, a “living trust” or “inter vivos trust” comes into effect during its creator’s lifetime. The creator of a living trust is referred to as a trustor or settlor.

Characteristics of a Revocable Living Trust

A revocable trust is one that:

  • Is created by the trustor while the trustor is alive
  • Gives the trustor the power to revoke the trust while still alive

Purpose

Living trusts have two main purposes that typically cannot be accomplished by wills:

  • Avoiding probate
  • Providing for management of a person’s estate if the person becomes incapacitated

Role of the Trustee

When a living trust is created, a trustee must be chosen as well. The trustee is often the trustor himself/herself, although the trust should also name a successor trustee who is someone the trustor believes is responsible and can manage a trust. If the trustor becomes incapacitated, typically the trustee is given authority to care for and make decisions about the property subject to the trust.

The trustor can generally designate himself/herself as trustee, although certain types of trusts require that someone else be the trustee.

Characteristics of an Irrevocable Trust

An irrevocable trust is one that:

  • Is created by the trustor while the trustor is alive
  • Does not give the trustor any power to amend or revoke

There are two basic forms of irrevocable trusts:

  • Temporarily irrevocable – It would only be irrevocable for the amount of time specified by the trustor, such as 5 years or 10 years
  • Permanently irrevocable – May not be changed or amended for the duration of the trust

Why Have an Irrevocable Trust?

An irrevocable trust allows for removal of property from the trustor’s taxable estate for estate and gift tax purposes and allows for use of the annual gift & estate tax exclusion as part of a gift-giving program. It also simultaneously prevents beneficiaries from exerting any control over the property.

  • Who Takes Care of Your Estate After You Die?
    When a person dies, a personal representative must be appointed to manage and distribute the decedent’s estate. Types of Personal Representatives A personal representative is any of the following:... Read more.
  • Use of Foreign Trusts to Protect Against Creditors
    In today’s litigious society more individuals are inquiring about asset protection planning, especially those individuals with a high risk of potential exposure to liability, such as business owners, doctors, or those involved in... Read more.
  • Estate Tax Rates in 2013
    Much to the relief of many, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (“2012 Tax Act”) was enacted in the beginning of 2013, making permanent many of the tax benefits that were scheduled to expire at the end of 2012. The... Read more.
  • Procedure for Removing an Executor or Administrator
    State laws and procedures typically govern the administration of an estate. For this reason, the law varies among jurisdictions. However, in 1969, a “Uniform Probate Code” (Uniform Code) was introduced. Since that time,... Read more.
Estate Planning News Links
Share This Page:
Our law firm represents estate planning clients from Riverside County, North County San Diego, Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Wildomar, De Luz, Fallbrook, Bonsall, Escondido, Valley Center, Rainbow, Hemet, Riverside, Menifee, Sun City, Canyon Heights, Canyon Lake, Quail Valley, Pechanga, and Pala. Our law firm focuses on California estate planning, wills, trusts, estates, probate administration, trust administration, asset protection, and entity formation. Practicing as an estate planning attorney, trust attorney, and probate attorney, Laila Kepler guides her clients through life's changes.