Bay Area Trust Attorney
What is a Trust?
A trust is a legal arrangement that is established to accomplish one or more specific financial objectives and to also communicate to the affected parties their respective rights and responsibilities under the trust. Every trust has the following:
- Settlor (also called Trustor or Grantor) – The person who establishes the trust and determines what it is supposed to accomplish. They are responsible for drawing up the trust agreement, usually with the advice of an attorney.
- Trustee - The person, company or legal entity that manages the trust and oversees distribution to the beneficiary. They also manage the assets in the trust.
- Beneficiary - The person or legal entity that receives (benefits from) the assets of the trust.
Our Trust Services
- Planning and setting up trusts. To establish a trust, you need a lawyer who understands the legal, financial and business implications of trusts. Steven M. Simrin, an attorney and CPA, has this background and has been helping clients plan and set up trusts for more than 15 years.
- Trust administration. Once a trust has been created, administration of the trust becomes an on-going task. Proper trust administration requires legal and financial knowledge to assure that these tasks are performed correctly. Our office advises trustees on how to properly administer trusts as required under the laws of the State of California. We also advise beneficiaries on how to enforce their rights under trusts.
- Trust disputes. For a variety of reasons, disputes sometimes arise between trustees and beneficiaries. Our office assists our clients in attempting to resolve these disputes without resorting to the courts. When such efforts are unproductive, we aggressively protect our clients rights by representing them in trust litigation.
Types of Trusts
There are many categories of trusts. Within each category, there are also nuances that make each trust unique. Some of the most common categories of trusts are:
- Living Trust – Also called an Inter Vivos (Latin for “between the living”) Trust, it is a trust that is created during the Settlor’s lifetime.
- Revocable Trust - It is revocable in the sense that it can be modified or even dismantled completely by the Settlor.
- Irrevocable Trust – This type of trust generally cannot be revoked or modified without permission of the court.
- Testamentary Trust – A trust that is created upon the Settlor’s death.
The primary reason a trust is established is to manage financial assets and control how the trust’s beneficiaries receive the benefit of those assets. Other reasons for trusts include avoiding probate and minimizing estate taxes.
The Role of a Trust Attorney
A skilled trust attorney has a role not only in setting up a trust to match the specific needs of a client, but also in advising the trustee in the administration of the trust. Trust attorneys also represent trustees and beneficiaries in litigation that arises over legal disputes concerning trusts.
With more than 15 years of experience in trust matters, and as both a skilled attorney and CPA, Steven Simrin guides clients through the financial and business implications of trust law as well as helping them resolve disputes between trustees and beneficiaries. Although a negotiated resolution often yields the best result, Steven is fully capable and qualified to handle any trust litigation that may arise.