Most everyone in Nevada knows that on Nov. 30, 2013, actor Paul Walker died in a car accident. Walker’s parents and 15-year-old daughter survived him. Recently, Walker’s father filed a probate for his estate. It turns out that Walker’s primary estate planning goal was to provide for his daughter through a trust.
Walker executed a pour-over will, which transfers all of his assets upon his death into a trust. All of the known assets of his estate, estimated at $25 million, go into that trust for the benefit of his daughter. Having a trust simplifies his probate considerably and keeps the exact nature of his assets private.
Ordinarily, trusts provide for controlled distributions to a beneficiary or beneficiaries over a predetermined amount of time. Depending on the wishes of the grantor, the assets of the trust can pass directly to the beneficiary at some point identified in the trust. This could be the age of the beneficiary, or even an event in the beneficiary’s life such as high school or college graduation or marriage.
Many Nevada residents decide to transfer their assets into a trust while they are still alive. This could allow family to avoid probate completely when the grantor of the trust passes away. Many believe that they do not need an estate planning document such as a trust and are content with just a will. However, when a person has minor children, it may be beneficial to have a trust to ensure that the assets will be available to the beneficiary when he or she becomes an adult.
Source: Forbes, Five Estate Planning Lessons From The Paul Walker Estate, Danielle and Andy Mayoras, Feb. 10, 2014