Trusts -Advanced Planning

Protect Your Loved Ones with an Estate Plan

Creating the right estate plan can seem daunting since there is a wide range of Trusts available. That’s why you need an estate planning attorney who knows the laws and will design a plan that addresses your specific situation.

At Bay Area Estate Attorneys, we will address your concerns and provide recommendations with proven strategies. Together we will design a plan that incorporates the best documents for your family.

Trusts for Married Couples:

  • Asset protection for the surviving spouse
  • Reduce or eliminate estate tax
  • Qualify for the unlimited marital deduction
  • Provide income to the surviving spouse in second marriage situations or significant separate property
  • Protect your children or beneficiaries from having their inheritance reduced or eliminated after your death
  • Reduce estate taxes for a non-citizen surviving spouse

Irrevocable Trusts – Asset Protection:

  • Eliminate State income tax
  • Protection from creditors, bankruptcy, and lawsuits
  • Dynasty planning to avoid future estate taxes and restrictions on distributions
  • Retain real estate and businesses for many generations

Charitable Remainder Trust

A charitable remainder trust is an irrevocable trust which provides a stream of income to you for a period of years or a lifetime and then gives the remainder to the charity of your choice with significant tax savings once the period of years or death has occurred.

Since the Secure Act took effect in January 2020, which eliminated stretch retirement accounts for children, The Charitable Remainder Trust is a great replacement option.

Benefits of a Charitable Remainder Trust

  • Convert an appreciated asset into lifetime income
  • Reduce your current income taxes with charitable income tax deductions
  • Pay no capital gains tax when the asset is sold
  • Reduce or eliminate your beneficiaries’ estate taxes
  • Gain protection from creditors for gifted assets
  • Receive more income over your lifetime than if you had sold the asset yourself

Special Needs Trust

Federal laws allow special needs beneficiaries to receive certain types of benefits from a carefully crafted trust without defeating eligibility for government benefits. So Special Needs Trust enables you to provide money or property for the benefit of someone with special needs without disqualifying them from receiving governmental benefits. There are many more planning techniques depending on your estate that we will address with you in person.

Based on 43 reviews
I engaged the services of Ms. Sowards in July of 2022 for the purpose of drawing up my will and establishing my living trust. She carried these out to the highest standards, thus relieving me of a major concern. I highly recommend her to my friends, acquaintances, and anyone else who need this done.
Jerry Young
Jerry Young
Julie was phenomenal in helping me administer my great grandfathers trust. Her steps were easy to follow and I look forward to forming my own trust with her.
Terry F
Terry F
By Terry F... Having grown up as an only child I never felt a sense of urgency to address my parent's trust when they passed since I didn't have any siblings to complicate matters - boy was I wrong! When I finally got around to it, I was surprised to learn that the assumption that they had a trust plus Prop 13 on my side was going to make it easy was waaay off base. From the time my parents passed away and my addressing their estate, you can imagine my shock when I learned that Prop 13 was not a guarantee of a smooth transfer of assets due to a multitude of legislation including Prop 58 and Prop 19. A reassessment of property values and corresponding tax bills can easily be triggered by how applications are submitted. (e.g. Parent to Child Exclusion, Death of a Cotenant, etc. ). Fortunately, I had Team Julie on my side and they knew when to "zig" and when to "zag". From the outset I knew that if we were to battle the county and state, Julie would go to war for me. She successfully navigated properties with different circumstances around obstacles that could have easily resulted in reassessment. If someone has what you deem to be a simple transfer (like I did) or a complicated one, I strongly urge you to meet with Julie. I trust Team Julie because she is genuinely concerned for my family's best interests. Her office is also quick to respond to questions - she is not part of a big conglomerate, she is part of the community! Best~Terry F
Linda Barnes
Linda Barnes
Julie is so knowledgable and nice to work with. The office staff are friendly and very efficient.
Frank Liu
Frank Liu
A friend at work recommended Julie for estate planning. She is a pleasure to work with, extremely knowledgeable and professional, and supported by a great staff. Visiting Julie in person and seeing the completely encompassing trust documents that she put together really made me realize why it is better to spend a bit more money up-front to work with a lawyer in person as opposed to trying to do trust/estate planning online. Highly recommended.
Ramji Pilapakam
Ramji Pilapakam
We had kept delaying setting up the trust primarily because of the anxiety of dealing with all the paperwork and uncertainty. We met Julie out of sheer chance, but what an opportune meeting that was! She answered all the preliminary questions I had and patiently guided us through the entire process of setting up the trust while giving us the time and space needed to make important decisions. Her knowledge clearly shines through and you can tell she really does care. Overall, it was a fantastic experience!
Suzanne Holmes
Suzanne Holmes
My husband and I needed to combine our separate trusts into one, and I cannot emphasize enough what a wonderful job Julie Sowards did for us. We appreciate the professionalism and friendliness that we encountered from the moment we met her. Her intelligence and knowledge of legal matters is impressive. She was always prompt and responsive, even replying to questions late in the evening and early in the morning. Our trust is solid thanks to her, and we appreciate all of her advice. My husband and I know that our heirs will not have any problems when our estate is settled, and our wishes will be carried out as stated because Julie created an estate planning portfolio that details everything. Julie gets our highest recommendation. She earned all five stars!
Joseph Robles
Joseph Robles
I cannot express how eternally grateful our family is with Julie--we could not be happier with her...Julie is a godsend. I was overwhelmed in the confusion when my Mother fell ill, and I was in a panic in the attempt of assuring my Mother's assets were properly managed as they were of paramount importance to her. Julie made a weekend accomodation and walked us through the process with great attention, assurance, and patience while sitting besides my Mother in her hospital bed. Julie was fully engaged and made sure our concerns were addressed thoroughly while offering relief that we were in good and compassionate hands. Additionally, her assistant Maureen was such an excellent, valuable secondary resource--Maureen was always available to answer ancillary questions, and just warmly engaging. We highly recommend Julie and her practice without hesitation, as the entire process was diligently professional and, importantly, brought a comforting peace of mind.