In San Francisco, California, a trust is an arrangement in which property is held by one person (the trustee) for the benefit of another (the beneficiary).
Trusts can serve any number of purposes. They can be set up to ensure that the child has a college fund, or to see that the beneficiary's basic needs are met, without the money being spent on frivolities.
A trust can make as many or as few allowances as the person creating it wants. For example, a trust could be set up which allows the beneficiary to spend the money on educational expenses, and nothing else.
Because you, as the trustee, can determine the rules under which the trust operates, you could give the beneficiary the right to access the fund at any time, for any reason, effectively letting them do whatever they want with the money, if that's what you want to do.
What to Include in Any San Francisco, CA Trust
To establish a valid trust in San Francisco, California, 4 elements must be present. The first element is purpose - the property being held in trust must be there for a reason. Your trust can serve just about any lawful purpose you can think of.
Second, the trust must also name a trustee. The trustee is the person who is actually going to administer the trust, and has possession and control of the property while it is the subject of the trust.
The third required element to make a valid trust is the beneficiary or beneficiaries. Because a trust, by definition, is set up to benefit someone or something, that entity must be identified in the trust. However, if the person(s) meant to benefit from the trust do not yet exist, they can still be valid beneficiaries, as long as they are part of an identifiable class of people, and can be easily identified if they are born. For example, you could set up a trust to benefit your grandchildren, even if you don't actually have any grandchildren yet.
Finally, and perhaps most vitally, the trust requires a "body." The body of a trust is the thing (usually, but not always, money) that is actually being held in trust, and therefore overseen by the trustee, and used to help the beneficiary.
Can A San Francisco, California Trust Drafting Attorney Help?
While the elements of a valid trust are fairly simple and easy to memorize, drafting a trust that is likely to be carried out according to your wishes can be fairly confusing. For that reason, a San Francisco, California attorney specializing in estate planning can be invaluable.
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