Law Offices of Julia P. Wald
Julia at a Baseball game
There is nothing that says "Spring" like a baseball game during spring training.
And there is nothing that says EXCELLENCE like the San Francisco Giants.

I realize I am expressing a personal opinion but oh, my, aren't the Giants doing well and isn't it fun that they are.


Of course I have to add that another enterprise that says EXCELLENCE is the LAW OFFICES OF JULIA P. WALD.  

Spring Training Scoreboard
We Draft Estate Planning Documents

One of the things we do here is draft estate planning documents like Wills and Trusts. The goal is to make it easy for the successors to inherit and give the signers that wonderful peace of mind that can only come with signing documents that express your wishes, whatever they may be.


As you know it is Spring time and Spring is followed by Summer and Summer means vacation. Speaking of peace of mind, many many people have no peace of mind when they think about their vacation trip because they think, "Oh dear, I STILL haven't signed a Will and suppose something happens while I'm on the airplane".

Batter swining
Nagging Thoughts on the Airplane

Have you had that thought? Or have you had it ON the airplane? That is so uncomfortable.


The lawyers at this firm would be happy to help you with your estate planning. Most likely, were you to meet with me, I would recommend that you have a Trust which would be created by the Trust Agreement I would draft. Most likely, before you decide to have a Trust Agreement, you want to know:


"Exactly what is a trust? What is a Trust Agreement?"


So, keep reading.

Preparing for a Vacation in the Sun
Grandchildren Swimming
A Trust

A trust is a concept of how to own your assets, e.g., real estate, securities, cash and things (stuff). Your assets will be put "in the trust". I like to think of a trust as like a box, you put your assets into the box. Once in the box, the assets are managed according to your instructions and eventually given out to your loved ones, also according to your instructions. The instructions are set out in your Trust Agreement. I think of a Trust Agreement as a set of instructions to the person who is appointed to manage the trust. (Trustee) The Trust Agreement is a long legal document that names the people important to the trust and to you and gives the trust manager instructions on what to do.


The person you appoint to manage the trust can be you as long as you are able. The trust manager is called the Trustee. The Trustee's job is not so different from that of a CEO and CFO rolled into one. The Trustee follows the instructions in the Trust Agreement, handling and investing the assets as you say, giving the money to the people you select, including yourself while alive, and then ending the trust and distributing everything out to your loved ones.

Family on Vacation The Trust Agreement

A typical Trust Agreement would start with instructions for how the assets are to be managed during your life.  


The instructions might be: take care of my house and my investments in a careful and prudent way. Pay my debts. The instructions might say: for my investments hire and rely on the advice of my long-time broker, Mr. X.


Such a Trust Agreement could next specify what happens after your life is completed. The options here are endless in that the document must express your goals and your philosophy and will provide for your loved ones, who from person to person are different and have different capabilities and needs. Some of the instructions I've been asked to draft are:

  • Give everything to my spouse, if alive, and if not to my three children to be held in trust until the youngest is 50. More usually, a trust for a child ends at age 30 or 35.
  • Give everything to a trust for the benefit of my spouse and when he dies or at my death if he does not survive me, give everything to my oldest daughter. I do not wish anything to go to my other children.
  • Give the contents of my wine cellar to my brother, Joe, and give everything else to the ASPCA.

You get the idea. The idea is that if you have a living trust it is the trust document that says what happens to your wealth after you pass. In effect the Trust Agreement replaces the Will.


Walking Along the Beach
In my experience many people are sick and tired of feeling anxious about not having written anything down about what happens to their assets if they die on vacation. 

So many people come in for a pre-vacation estate planning session.
June is a busy month around here, to say nothing of May.  


YOU COULD BE ONE OF THE LUCKY PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT ANXIOUS WHEN THEY GO ON VACATION and, in fact, feel virtuous about completing the difficult task of completing the estate planning process.  


Please give me a call...  





Julia P. Wald

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Law Offices of Julia Wald

I'll give you my wisdom and my time (up to half an hour), and it won't cost you anything.