Establishing Trusts To Protect Your Assets And Your Loved Ones

At Berge & Berge, our attorneys listen to your concerns and work with you to establish your wishes. Managing partner Jim Berge’s (pronounced burr-ghee) master’s degree in tax law, combined with his over 25 years of experience as a lawyer, provides a skillful balance of accounting and legal guidance. A trust may enable you to designate someone to hold and/or distribute your property according to your wishes upon your passing.

Aretha Franklin and Prince are two famous examples of people who did not do estate planning. While the publicity of their estates shows the necessity of planning ahead for a high-asset estate, you need not have millions to put a trust to work for you. If you have a home, 401(k) or IRA, you can benefit from our San Jose firm’s services.

What Are The Different Kinds Of Trusts?

California law recognizes various kinds of trusts for your asset protection. Berge & Berge provides guidance for trusts which may include:

  • Revocable living trust — Along with a will, revocable living trusts serve to protect an estate from probate and may be especially helpful in carrying out a decedent’s wishes.
  • Marital trusts — Married couples may build a trust in their living trust(s) as an added measure of tax and property protection. Marital trusts ensure the intended party receives property after your passing or upon your partner’s passing.
  • Trust for minors — They are trusts for children under 18 provide financial support for children’s needs, including medical and educational expenses. They may be established to relinquish remaining funds after the children reach a pre-determined age or achievement, such as college graduation.
  • Personal Asset trust — They protect your assets even after your death by setting up a Personal Asset trust for your beneficiaries.
  • Special Needs trust — To protect a person with a disability from losing his or her government benefits, a special needs trust provides additional funding.
  • Spendthrift trusts — Designed to protect the beneficiary’s assets from creditors, spendthrift trusts typically have an independent trustee who is responsible for the distribution of the assets in the trust.
  • Retirement trust — To protect your retirement accounts from creditors and to limit your heir’s tax exposure, a retirement trust may be an important tool within your estate plan.
  • Irrevocable life insurance trust — For estate tax purposes, an irrevocable life insurance trust may reduce your exposure to federal estate tax liability.
  • Charitable trust — Should you choose to leave a sizable portion of your estate to a charity, a charitable trust may be the best way to ensure this donation is protected and managed according to your wishes.

Our compassionate attorneys can help you create, maintain and administer your trust during your lifetime as well as on your behalf after you are gone

Contact Us For Assistance In Planning Your Future

For your California estate planning needs, call (408)985-9918 or contact our firm online to arrange an initial consultation with Berge & Berge. Located in West San Jose, we serve clients in the entire south San Francisco Bay Area.