Estate Planning

For clients looking to minimize taxes, reduce legal expenses, plan for successor, or perhaps provide for charity, we can help explore solutions in the following areas. Consultations are free and there is no obligation to utilize any services strategies we may discuss.

  •  Revocable Living Trusts
  •  Charitable Trusts
  •  Foundations
  •  Life Insurance Trusts

A properly created Living Trust avoids Probate if it complies with the California Probate Code.

Does a living trust need an EIN?  Or these other Trusts?

A Revocable Living Trust does not normally need its own TIN (Tax Identification Number) while the grantor is still alive.

During the grantor’s life, the trust is revocable and taxes are paid by the grantor as an individual, using the grantor’s SSN (Social Security Number). In other words, when an institution requests an SSN or EIN (Employer Identification Number) for trust property, the grantor just uses his or her own SSN. When the grantor dies, the living trust becomes irrevocable and the successor trustee will get an EIN from the IRS to pay the trust’s taxes.

For shared property in shared living trusts, the grantors can use either person's SSN. When choosing which SSN to use, keep in mind that income on trust property will be reported through the SSN you select. This won't matter to couples who file taxes jointly, but it could make a difference to couples who file taxes with separate returns. For individually owned property in a shared living trust, use the owner's SSN.

Charitable Trusts, Insurance Trusts, and Foundations do require their own TIN (Tax Identification Number) and also operate under specific rules and guidelines.

The IRS outlines Charitable Trust rules on its website.

 The Life Cycle of a Private Foundation can be found here.   The IRS also offers a graphical depiction of the Foundation “Life Cycle” chart with links to their website. 

Disclaimer:  This website is NOT a recommendation to pursue any of the above strategies without first consulting and speaking with a qualified tax or legal professional.   Gregory McCloskey was tax certified in 2003 with the California Tax Education Council , after taking the tax-preparer’s course with H & R Block. It is highly recommended you seek independent tax advice from a qualified CPA. 

The hyperlinks provided are intended for informational purposes only and are not to be interpreted by the recipient as a solicitation or endorsement.


Please call (949) 851-4969 for more information, or to schedule an office or in-home appointment. No cost or obligation.


Gregory McCloskey  - CA Insurance License # 0B72919 California Department of Insurance.

“The hyperlinks provided are intended for informational purposes only and are not to be interpreted by the recipient as a solicitation or endorsement.”