Estate planning is a very personal endeavor. Without an estate plan, someone else makes the decisions for you after you are gone. At Citron & Deutsch, we have a comprehensive understanding of estate planning law and can assist you in developing a plan that best accommodates your family’s future needs. Our services include drafting wills and trusts, buy/sell agreements, as well as advantageous tax planning, asset protection planning, and the formation of Family Limited Liability Partnerships.
01. Wills & Trusts
A will is a written instrument by which a person disposes of property at death. A will is always subject to change during the person’s lifetime. It conveys no present interest in property until the person’s death. In California there are three types of wills: (a) a “holographic” or handwritten will; (b) a statutory will; and (c) a formal will, prepared by an attorney.
In general, trusts permit the owner of property to provide for the management and disposition of property. Basically, there are three types of trusts: (a) the revocable living trust; (b) the irrevocable trust and (c) the testamentary trust.
The Revocable Living Trust. Generally, in a revocable living trust, an owner (“grantor”) transfers property to himself as trustee to be managed for his own benefit (beneficiary). A revocable living trust (also called an inter vivos trust) may be canceled or changed during its existence. The trust agreement provides that the trustee is to pay the grantor all of the income from the trust during his lifetime, together with such amounts of principal as desired at any time. After the grantor’s death,the trust assets automatically pass to the grantor’s heirs. The grantor may change the assets in the trust, the successor trustee, or the terms and beneficiaries of the trust at any time. Upon the death of the grantor, the trust becomes irrevocable.
02. Buy/Sell Agreements
Every small business should have a buy sell agreement. Most do not. So often the issues appear to be quite complex and as a result no agreement is put in place. And, just like in a marriage, many new business owners do not want to discuss or think about one of the principals leaving the business. And, it is important to resolve these issues now before the need arises, while on good terms.
The buy sell agreement does not have to cover every situation that might arise, but rather can address those most important to the continuation of the business. In order to simplify the process we break it down into five parts: