The belief that trusts are only for wealthy individuals is fading as Californians discover the estate planning benefits of trusts. Sometimes wills are enough for the distribution of assets to heirs. Often trusts are beneficial supplements because they serve multiple purposes -- not the least of which is potential estate tax savings.
Actor and filmmaker Dennis Hopper was 74-years-old at the time of his death in 2010. Two months before he died of cancer, Hopper celebrated his recognition of celebrity on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with his 7-year-old daughter, Galen -- Hopper's fourth child and the daughter of his fifth wife.
The management of a California family's $11 million trust fund is under careful watch by federal law enforcement officials and family members. A probate judge in Los Angeles County recently approved a $50,000 compensation payment to one of the estate trustees, who is under FBI scrutiny.
He was her boyfriend and the company controller in her Silicon Valley trust administration business. Unfortunately, the man may also be the embezzler behind a scheme that caused more than $17 million in clients' funds to evaporate.