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San Francisco Wills & Trusts Attorney

Create a Will or Trust with an Experienced Bay Area Lawyer

Having a legally sound will or trust can help provide your family with peace of mind and personal directives to your wishes in the event that you pass. At O’Neil & Rueppel, LLP, we are proud to offer experienced and understanding estate planning services to individuals and families throughout the Bay Area. Our team can work with you to create effective wills and trusts that may be able to help your family in a time of grieving.

Let a San Francisco wills and trusts lawyer from O’Neil & Rueppel, LLP help. Call us at (415) 992-9452 today to schedule a consultation. We can also meet with you in Larkspur or Berkeley, for your convenience.

Do I Need a Will or a Trust?

As many people know, wills are created to help establish what you wish to have done with your assets, property, and debts upon your passing. Trusts can be created to be effective immediately and remain effective during your lifetime, or be considered effective upon passing. You can create a will and a trust mutually, or you can have one or the other.

A will allows you to:

  • Nominate an executor of your estate
  • Determine where assets will go upon your passing
  • Name heirs and beneficiaries or disinherit those who would otherwise stand to inherit
  • Establish funeral arrangements and burial procedures
  • Name guardians for minor children
  • Alter your wishes as your wishes and circumstances change

A trust allows you to:

  • Nominate trustees
  • Name beneficiaries
  • Distribute assets and property prior to passing
  • Protect your assets from creditors or spendthrift beneficiaries
  • Manage assets for minor beneficiaries until they are old enough to inherit responsibly
  • Avoid probate
  • Avoid MediCal recovery claims
  • Minimize estate taxes and administration fees
  • Keep the administration of your estate out of the public record

Every person’s situation will vary and an attorney can help determine the most effective course of action for your needs.

Understanding Different Types of Trusts

Different trusts exists to meet your needs in distributing your assets. The most important distinction is that of a revocable vs irrevocable trust.

A revocable trust, also known as a living trust, allows you to pass your assets without the involvement of probate while you still maintain control of those assets during your lifetime. You can change or dissolve the trust at any time before your death.

An irrevocable trust is unchangeable, and you will no longer have control of the assets within the trust once you create it. However, irrevocable trusts transfer the assets out of your estate entirely, potentially saving on estate taxes and probate.

Specific trusts include:

  • Marital (A) Trust - Provides benefits to your surviving spouse

  • Bypass (B) Trust - Also called a credit shelter trust, intended to bypass the estate of the surviving spouse for the best use of federal estate tax exemptions
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) - Excludes life insurance proceeds from the rest of the taxable estate
  • Generation-Skipping Trust - Allows you to pass assets to grandchildren or later generations without incurring additional estate taxes
  • Charitable Lead Trust - Ensures certain benefits will go to charity, with the remainder going to beneficiaries
  • Special Needs Trust - Allows you to pass assets to special needs loved ones without disqualifying them for vital government benefits

Let O’Neil & Rueppel, LLP, Help Your Family

When you choose to work with O’Neil & Rueppel, LLP, we will look at all aspects of your life and walk you through the process of estate planning. Our San Francisco wills and trusts lawyers can help you draft or revise a will or develop a living or revocable trust. We will keep you educated and informed through the entire process, thus making your estate planning an educational and collaborative experience.

For more information on how we may be able to help, call us at (415) 992-9452 and schedule a consultation with our team.

Helping Our Clients Realize Their Goals

Read What Some of Our Former Clients Have to Say
  • “Everything was made simple and the fear of signing a will was removed!”

    Former Client

  • “ I went away feeling empowered to continue with the process. ”

    Former Client

  • “Very easy to work with and an outstanding professional. ”

    Former Client

  • “Thank you for your guidance and expertise!”

    Julie N.

  • “His writing is clear, understandable, and succinct—he is a superb writer.”

    Kate C.