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South Bay Wills and Trusts

Planning for the future with wills and trusts is a paramount step in ensuring the well-being of your loved ones. At Olsen & Olsen Attorneys at Law in Torrance, our experienced team will work with you to secure a legacy that aligns with your wishes and protects the financial future of your family.

Wills and Trusts in California

Wills and trusts are legal instruments that individuals use to plan for the distribution of their assets and the management of their affairs after their death. Both serve as essential components of estate planning, but they have different structures and purposes.

What is a Will?

A will, also known as a last will and testament, is a legal document that outlines an individual's wishes regarding the distribution of their assets, the appointment of guardians for minor children, and the designation of an executor to manage the estate.

A will typically includes provisions for naming beneficiaries, specifying how assets should be distributed, appointing an executor to carry out the terms of the will, and naming a guardian for minor children if applicable.

What You Should Know About Wills

Probate Process

Wills generally go through probate, a legal process in which the court oversees the distribution of assets, validates the will, and ensures that the deceased person's debts and taxes are settled.


A will can be amended or revoked during the person's lifetime, and it only takes effect upon their death.

Public Record

Wills become part of the public record during probate, which means that the contents of the will are accessible to the public.

Contingency Planning

A will allows individuals to make contingency plans for various scenarios, such as naming alternate beneficiaries and providing instructions for specific situations.

What is a Trust?

A trust is a legal arrangement where a person (the settlor or grantor) transfers assets to a trustee, who holds and manages those assets for the benefit of specified individuals or entities (the beneficiaries). Literally, the creator trusts another individual to transfer assets in the manner specified by the creator.

What You Should Know About Trusts


Though the vast majority of trusts are revocable, trusts can be revocable or irrevocable. In a revocable living trust, the settlor retains the ability to modify or revoke the trust during their lifetime. In an irrevocable trust, the terms are typically more fixed.

Probate Avoidance

One primary advantage of trusts is that assets placed in a trust can often bypass the probate process. This can result in a more efficient and private distribution of assets.


Unlike wills, trusts generally remain private documents. They do not become part of the public record, providing a higher level of privacy for the settlor and beneficiaries.

Management of Assets

Trusts can provide for the management and distribution of assets both during the settlor's lifetime (in the case of a living trust) and after their death.


Trusts offer greater flexibility in managing complex family situations, tax planning, and providing for the ongoing needs of beneficiaries.

Contingency Planning

Like wills, trusts allow for contingency planning, including the appointment of successor trustees and detailed instructions for how assets should be managed and distributed.


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