California residents with assets of $100,000 or more may be wise to consider using trusts as part of an estate plan. Trusts allow an individual to stipulate when and how their estate will be distributed, and they can provide peace of mind by ensuring that all heirs will receive their inheritance. Trusts may also mitigate the impact of estate and gift taxes.
Trusts may be a valuable estate planning tool when a significant amount of the estate consists of assets such as real estate, art and antiques or a business. Trusts also allow for payments to be made at specific times such as when a child comes of age or graduates college. Using a trust may also be a consideration for those who worry that their estate would be exhausted before their children come of age. Another benefit of trusts is that they allow disabled relatives to be provided for without impacting their qualification for assistance programs such as Medicaid.