Family Trust Basics – What is an Estate Plan?

Estate planning involves considering how assets are to be passed from one generation to the next. The usual components of an estate plan are Wills and Memorandum of Wishes.

A Will is a document that deals with an individual's personal estate upon death. A Memorandum of Wishes is a letter written to Trustees of the Trust to describe how assets are to be dealt with within the Trust. You can contact best family trust in california via

A common mistake is not to link Wills and the establishment of a Trust. As a accountancy and legal practice we often see individuals who have established Trusts but have not prepared new Wills to reflect this.

In this instance, they often have existing Wills prepared many years before that pass assets to spouses or children personally upon death. Once a Trust is established such a Will is flawed for two reasons.

First, you do not want assets to pass to surviving spouses or children personally when they can be directed straight into a Trust free of gifting restrictions.

That is, it is important to note that any bequests under a Will are not subject to gift duty.

Second, given that a Trust has been established and the individual is seeking to minimise, their personal estate their Will has become redundant to a certain extent.

Broadly speaking, the objective of an effective Will is to direct assets into the ownership of the Trust on death. This will prevent assets from accruing in the hands of the surviving spouse and family members and also prevent gifting programmers from being extended.