Estate Planning in Santa Clarita
Estate planning may be a complex task, however a well-informed plan can make a big difference in helping you achieve your objectives. At the Law Office of Craig Aird, our goal is to match the right tools to your needs and objectives whether they involve tax minimization, simply avoiding probate, creditor protection for your heirs or setting up a charitable foundation.
Put simply, a will governs the distribution of property you own at the time of your death.
Typical areas covered by a will include:
- Naming an executor who will carry out the provisions of your will
- Designating beneficiaries who will inherit your assets
- Providing instructions for how and when beneficiaries will receive assets, whether outright or in trust
- Naming guardians for minor children
- Making any charitable bequests
But beyond the basic functions described above, a will can be used to achieve a wide range of family and tax objectives. Significant increases in the estate tax exemption amount have made tax planning less of a factor, but it’s always a good idea to keep tax considerations in mind when providing for your spouse or other beneficiaries.
You may also want to create trusts that will aid your children in finishing their education, buying a home or starting a business. Or you may want to create trusts for your grandchildren that have other objectives.
Our goal is to take the time to guide you through all of these options and more, ultimately drafting a will that best meets your needs.
The term “living trust” generally refers to a trust that you create during your lifetime. Most living trusts are written to permit you to amend them or revoke them entirely at any time. This type of trust by itself does not help you avoid estate tax but it can help you avoid probate. This can save considerable time and expense in administering your estate.
After your death, this type of trust becomes “irrevocable” meaning it can no longer be changed and will contain the same type of provisions for your beneficiaries that would otherwise be in your will. For example, assets can remain in trust for your spouse or other beneficiaries or the trust can terminate and distribute all of its remaining assets to your beneficiaries outright. Regardless of the plan, your living trust should take estate tax considerations into account.
Other Estate Planning Tools
Beyond the tools listed above, we offer comprehensive estate planning services including:
- Irrevocable Trusts (life insurance trusts, defective grantor trusts, charitable trusts)
- Family Limited Partnerships
- Powers of Attorney
- Advance Health Care Directives
- Special Needs Trusts
- Codicils and Trust Amendments
A private foundation is a type of charitable organization that can be formed by an individual or family to support their charitable objectives. The charitable foundation is managed by a board whose members are responsible for receiving contributions, managing and investing foundation assets, making grants and other administrative tasks.
Establishing a private foundation can create a legacy beyond your lifetime and allow family members to be involved in running the organization. This gives you the chance to involve your children or grandchildren in your philanthropic activities. It also allows you to support other organizations that are not public charities. This makes a private foundation one of the most flexible charitable vehicles available.
There are also a variety of income and estate tax benefits to creating a private foundation.
If you are interested in long-term charitable planning, we can guide you through the IRS application process and assist with any questions you may have about operating your foundation or creating another vehicle for philanthropic activities.