FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a Living Trust?

The big advantage to making a Living Trust is a monetary one, since property left through the Trust doesn’t have to detour through Probate Court before it reaches the people you want to inherit it. Probate, which may drag on for months, is the court-supervised process of paying your debts and distributing your property to the people who inherit it. By the time the inheritors get anything, a percentage of the property has been used for Attorney and Court fees.

If I make a Living Trust, do I still need a Will?

Yes, because a Will is an essential back-up device for property that you don’t transfer to your self as trustee. For example, if you acquire property shortly before you die, you may not remember to transfer ownership of it to your Trust,  which means that it won’t pass under the terms of the Trust document. But, in your back-up Will, you can include a clause that names someone to get any property that you haven’t left to a particular person or entity. If you don’t have a Will, any property that isn’t transferred by your Living Trust or other probate-avoidance device (such as joint-tenancy) will go to your closest living relatives in an order determined by state law.

How does a Living Trust avoid Probate?

The person you appoint to handle the Trust after your death, the successor trustee, simply transfers ownership to the beneficiaries you named in the Trust.  Much of the time, this can be accomplished in a few weeks, When all the property has been transferred to the beneficiaries, the Living Trust ceases to exist.

What is an Irrevocable Trust?

An Irrevocable Trust is a Trust in which the creator transfers assets to a trust with no power to alter, amend or revoke the terms of the trust at a later date.  Unless the creator retains certain powers or benefits, income generated by the Trust and distributed to a trust beneficiary is taxed to the beneficiary; all other trust income (undistributed or accumulated income) is taxed to the trust’s fiduciary.

What does Intestacy mean?

If you die without even a Will (intestate), the legislature of your State has already determined who will inherit your assets and when they will inherit them.You may not agree with their plan, but roughly 70 % of Americans currently use it.

What is a Buy-Sell Agreement?

A Buy-Sell Agreement is like a blueprint for the future of your business. It is a binding document that obligates one party to sell and another to buy some or all of a business interest upon the occurrence of some designated event in the future, typically death, retirement or disability.

When does a business need a Buy-Sell Agreement?

Every co-owned business needs a Buy-Sell Agreement when the business is formed. Basically a Buy-Sell Agreement reduces conflict when the time for a buyout comes. A properly structured and funded Buy-Sell Agreement can ensure the smooth transition and continuation of your business. It can help to avoid conflicts and power struggles among partners/owners when a co-owner wants to leave the company and it also protects the owner who is remaining in business. Agreeing on a way to value the company in advance gives the owners a chance to discuss and vote on how a reasonable price for the company should be calculated.

Free Initial Consultation

Contact the Law Office of Thomas C. Tagliarini by phone at (510) 444-0692 or email for a free consultation with an East Bay will dispute lawyer. We serve Oakland, San Francisco and the surrounding counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Marin.