Trusts and Asset Protection
Trusts: Revocable Living Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, etc.
Trusts come in many “flavors,” they can be simple or complex, and serve a variety of legal, personal, investment or tax planning purposes. At the most basic level, a trust is a legal entity with at least three parties involved: the trust-maker ("settlor"), the trust manager ("trustee"), and the trust beneficiaries.
- Revocable Trusts: In the case of a revocable living trust, it is very common for a person to create a trust and name themselves the current trustee, (trust manager) who manage the trust assets for their own benefit (trust beneficiary). Once the person passes away, the trust assets are distributed to the heirs/beneficiaries. The benefits are many, and include probate avoidance, asset management if the trust maker is ill, elderly, or incapacited, and ease of administration upon death.
- Irrevocable Trusts: The McNamara Law Firm, PC also creates specialized Asset-Protection trusts for our elderly clients. We "fund" these Asset Protection trusts in a Medi-Cal compliant manner, thus protecting assets from the high cost of care. This is especially helpful when one spouse requires expensive skilled nursing, while the other spouse wishes to remain in the family home. We utilize these trusts for planning for public benefits to assist with the high cost of care, and protection of assets when care is needed.
- Special Needs Trusts: These trusts are often created for disabled individuals who receive, or will receive Medi-Cal benefits and/or SSI. Typically, our office assists parents who have a disabled child, and want the inheritance to pass to a Special Needs Trust, managed by a professional or trusted individual, to assist their disabled child after their deaths, while maintaining public benefits.