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Law Office of Jan A. Meyer

Family Protection Planning, Estate Planning, Trusts , Trust Administration and Probate in Dana Point 

What is a trust?

A trust is a document that creates a legal relationship between the trustor and the trustee, regarding property for the benefit of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. The trustor is the person creating the trust while the trustee is the person who manages the trust. The beneficiary is the person for whom the trust was created. The trustee can be either an individual or an institution. Typically, the trustor is the initial trustee with a successor trustee appointed to take over if the trustor can no longer perform his duties.  Depending on the trust created, the trust can reduce or eliminate inheritance and income taxes. 

Can I appoint a guardian for my children in my trust?

No, a trust is administered outside of the court and is therefore not an appropriate vehicle for a guardianship appointment. However, most, if not all estate planners accompany a revocable trust with a pour-over will. A pour-over will serve as a back up to the revocable trust. It must be probated and therefore bring the guardianship appointment under the purview of the court.  

Is a trust the same as a will?

Although the two instruments function very similarly, there are distinct differences; the main one being that a will has to be probated while a trust doesn't. 



Revocable Trusts