Trusts serve many purposes in estate planning for California residents. There are also many different types of trusts (inter-vivos and testamentary to name two main categories). Inter-vivos trusts are created during life and often called “living trusts” or “grantor trusts.” These trusts are most commonly set up as revocable trusts but sometimes are done as irrevocable trusts. The primary purposes of a revocable trust are: probate avoidance and orderly distribution of assets after death. Irrevocable trusts generally add tax planning (i.e. avoiding or minimizing estate, gift, inheritance and even property tax). The key is working with an attorney who is experienced and knows the in’s and out’s of trusts to make sure yours gets set up correctly.