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The Law Offices of

Gregory T. Annigian


114 North Indian Hill Blvd.

Suite E

Claremont, CA 91711


Phone:  (909) 981-9340

Fax:  (909) 981-5091

Email:

greg@annigian-law.com


PRACTICE AREAS

Claremont Wills and Trusts Attorney Greg Annigian

                               

Welcome to the Law Offices of Claremont Wills & Trusts Lawyer Gregory T. Annigian. Mr. Annigian has been drafting wills and trusts on behalf of individuals and families for more than 47+ years. A skilled attorney who possesses a thorough understanding of Estate Law, Mr. Annigian understands the difficulty that many face when determining how to distribute their assets upon death. We strive to ease the difficulty by guiding clients through the process with respect and compassion.

Lawyer Greg Annigian has extensive experience drafting enforceable, fully customized Wills & Trusts on behalf of his clients, placing an emphasis on maximizing the preservation of family assets and minimizing tax liability.

To obtain information about creating an Estate Plan best suited for your objectives, contact Claremont Wills & Trusts Attorney Greg Annigian at (909) 981-9340 to make an appointment for a comprehensive consultation with one of the area’s leading Estate Lawyers.

Will & Trust Lawyer in Claremont

Attorney Gregory Annigian possesses the knowledge and vast experience required to help his clients make intelligent, informed Estate Planning decisions. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with each Estate Planning tool, and Mr. Annigian will thoroughly review all of your various options with you.

Types of Wills

A pour-over will is an Estate Planning tool that is used in conjunction with a trust. Upon the death of the testator, all property is transferred into a trust, thereby allowing the beneficiaries to avoid going through probate before the executor can distribute the estate’s assets.

A standalone will is a testamentary document that must be filed with the Court upon the death of the testator and be probated prior to any distributions.

Holographic wills are drafted by the testator, and as with a standalone will, must go through probate. Holographic wills must be written out entirely by the testator’s own hand, and must be signed by the testator.  

Specific requirements must be met for a will to be deemed valid by the Probate Court. The testator must intend to create a will, they must understand that they are executing a will, they must have the mental capacity to execute a will, and they must do so of their own volition absent duress, the exercise of undue influence, or fraud. Pour-over wills and standalone wills must be signed by both the testator and independent witnesses who attest to the fact that they personally saw the testator sign the will.

Types of Trusts

There are numerous types of trusts, and each serves a distinct purpose. Claremont Estate Lawyer Gregory Annigian has a broad understanding of the various trusts and their intended uses. Based upon your desires and objectives, he will recommend the appropriate trust or trusts to ensure that your wishes are carried out. He has helped numerous clients create the following trusts:

Wills vs. Trusts

While Wills and Trusts are both utilized to set forth how assets are transferred to heirs and beneficiaries and who will inherit specific property or sums of money, trusts have several advantages over wills. Trusts offer much more flexibility, and unlike wills, they are not a matter of public record.

Trusts do not have to be Probated – an extremely costly and lengthy process. Whereas it can take several years to complete probate and distribute assets according to the terms set forth in the will, trusts allow for the immediate transfer of assets to the stated beneficiaries.

A properly drafted trust offers numerous tax advantages, and allows for the transfer of assets during the lifetime of the testator without extensive tax liability.

Additionally, a testator can create trusts to provide for the immediate distribution of assets, or the distribution of assets over the course of a beneficiary’s lifetime if the recipient is unable to handle their finances in a responsible manner.

Trusts may also be used to bequeath money to charitable foundations, fund a beneficiary’s education, or be used to retain funds from a life insurance policy for distribution to a beneficiary or multiple beneficiaries over a specific period of time or in a single lump sum.

For additional information about the various types of trusts, contact the Law Offices of Claremont Estate Attorney Greg Annigian to speak directly with a lawyer.

A highly experienced lawyer, Mr. Annigian knows that each and every client has different needs and requires different Estate Planning strategies. Dedicated to providing top quality legal services, Lawyer Gregory Annigian works with his clients to craft the perfect Estate Plan, designed to provide peace of mind that their wishes will be carried out in precisely the manner which they intend.  

FAQ’s

1. What is the Difference between a Will and a Trust?

Both are estate planning tools designed to set forth how an individual’s assets will be distributed upon death (wills and trusts), or during their lifetime as well as after their death (trusts only).

Most wills must be probated, and the entire matter (including the will itself) is available to the public. Probate is costly – generally a percentage of the total value of the estate, not including attorney fees. The probate process is lengthy and it may take months or years for the assets to be distributed. Tax implications must be considered when executing a will.

Trusts do not have go through probate, therefore the contents of the trust remain confidential unless litigation takes place. Trustees are entitled to fair pay for their work as trust administrators; however this is generally far less than the cost of probate. Assets must be distributed according to the terms of the trust. While some trusts may pay beneficiaries over a course of years, they also allow for much faster distribution of assets than probate. As with wills, tax consequences must be taken into account when establishing a trust.

2. Are there different types of Wills?

California recognizes the validity of several types of wills. These include handwritten (holographic) wills, written out by the testator, setting forth his or her wishes for asset distribution upon death. To be valid, the testator must be of sound mind and understand that they are executing a will. Unlike other types of wills, holographic wills aren’t required to be dated, but it’s a good idea to do so should questions arise as to when it was executed. Additionally, they are not required to be witnessed.

Formal (Attested) Wills are those which are typically drafted by an Estate Planning Lawyer. They must be signed and dated in front of 2-3 objective third-party witnesses. The witnesses cannot be in a position to inherit from the testator. Additionally, attested wills incorporate a clause setting forth the fact that the testator is of sound mind, has testamentary intent to execute a will, and is not under any undue influence or duress.

California Statutory Wills also include the above attestation clause pertaining to the testator’s soundness of mind and volition. However, rather than being drafted by a lawyer, they are fillable forms that allow the individual to simply fill in the blanks. These wills must also be dated and signed in front of independent witnesses as with formal wills.

3. What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process by which a decedent’s will is filed with the appropriate court to oversee the payment of debts and distribution of assets after assessing the validity of a will. Should the court find that the will is valid, probate will continue and assets will be distributed according to the will on file. If the probate judge invalidates the will, the court must determine if a prior valid will exists. If so, the decedent’s estate is disbursed under the terms of the most recent valid will. If a valid will cannot be found, the decedent’s assets are distributed according to the laws of intestacy in the state of California.

4. What is a Trust?

A trust is a document that serves multiple purposes. Trusts may be established to go into effect immediately during the testator’s lifetime, and they may draw assets from the trust. If the trust is irrevocable, the assets may be protected from creditors. However, revocable trusts are not protected from creditors and are subject to collection. Revocable and irrevocable trusts also set forth the assets to be disbursed to the named heirs and beneficiaries upon the death of the testator.

Trusts may be used to benefit charitable causes, protect a fiscally irresponsible beneficiary from going through their inheritance rapidly (spendthrift trust), or used to cover the needs of a physically or mentally disabled individual (special needs trust), just to name a few purposes.

Trusts are often wrapped up much more quickly than wills, because they don’t have to go through probate. Additionally, trusts are generally set up to maximize tax benefits and minimize liabilities. Finally, because they are not probated, trusts remain private and are not deemed public documents unless ordered by a court.

5. What type of Estate Plan do I need?

The type of estate plan you need depends on how sizeable your assets are, whether you own real estate in multiple locations, if you own a business, as well as other pertinent financial and familial factors. Each and every situation is unique. Therefore, it’s crucial that you consult with a knowledgeable Estate Planning Lawyer who will be able to guide you through the process and create a personalized plan that will meet all of your needs.

6. Do I have to hire an attorney to write a will or trust for me?

Due to the high risk for litigation based on emotions running high after the death of a loved one, it is highly important that you seek professional legal assistance when creating a will and particularly a trust. Very specific legal requirements must be met to create a valid will or trust. As a result, while private individuals may draft their own estate plan, in the long run it can create a great deal of strife and permanently destroy families.

A seasoned Wills & Trusts Lawyer, Claremont Attorney Gregory T. Annigian has more than 47 years’ experience drafting both wills and trusts that range from the relatively simple to the highly complex. Please call (909) 981-9340 to schedule a consultation with one of the area’s most highly respected Estate Planning Lawyer.

At the Law Offices of Gregory T. Annigian, we proudly serve clients in Claremont, Eastern Los Angeles County and throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

Contact Claremont Wills & Trusts Attorney Greg Annigian for an In Office Consultation

For information about our services or to schedule a consultation, call the Law Offices of Claremont Wills & Trusts Lawyer Gregory Annigian at (909) 981-9340. We will schedule an appointment for your consultation and discuss the most effective methods to ensure that your hard-earned assets are protected for future generations.

Will and Trusts Info PDF.pdf