If Our Walls Could Talk Series: Object #7 Scottish Man

If Our Walls Could Talk Series: Object #7 Scottish Man: This is one of a few figurines on the bookcase that is not a souvenir from my travels. It was actually a gift from my best friend Linda from her trip to Scotland several years ago. Linda and I have been friends for over 42 years. We met in a grocery store after 10 o’clock one Friday night with our husbands and very brand new first babies. We also had both newly moved onto the same street in the Blossom Valley of San Jose and, coincidentally, Linda’s husband was the new dentist my husband Tom and I had visited for the first time just that week. Over the years, Linda and I have stayed close although our families moved before long to different areas in the valley, me to Los Gatos and Linda first to the Almaden Valley and later to the Silver Creek area of San Jose.   We have shared many family vacations and all of the important family and personal events and achievements of our lives – both the joyous times and the hard times. She is someone to whom I can tell my deepest and most personal secrets and can count on to “be there” if I need her, as I am there for her. Linda, if you read this, I love you my friend.

If Our Walls Could Talk Series: Object #6 Guitar Man from Argentina

This figurine is a souvenir of my trips to Argentina. Yes, “trips!” I have been there twice, first was in 2000 with my husband Tom and daughter Lara when we went to the Rotary International Conference in Buenos Aires. On the way to Argentina that time, we also visited Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Some of my favorite memories from that trip to Argentina were our visit to a nearby Gaucho Ranch for a show and BBQ (where I had my first–and last!–piece of blood sausage), our walk through the Caminito in the colorful La Boca neighborhood, and the tango performance we attended in the San Telmo district of the city. In 2010, I returned to Argentina with my best friend Linda, her daughter Sue and friend Jan. The highlights of that trip for me were our visit to the Bodego and Estancia Colomé winery in the Calchaqui Valley of northern Argentina, featuring the highest vineyard in the world and the James Tyrrell (artist of light) museum, and a visit to Argentina’s majestic Iguazu Falls that rival our own country’s Niagara Falls. Although, I admit that I can’t now remember which trip it was that I found the little figurine of a Gaucho guitar player, it doesn’t matter that I don’t since both trips were amazing experiences that I will treasure the memories of forever.

Object #5: World Books

“If Our Walls Could Talk” Series, object #5: These are part of the set of World Book Encyclopedias that we bought when our children were in grade school. These were the years before I went to law school, which I entered when our children were 9 and 12 years old. When our children were babies and later in grade school, I was mostly a stay-at-home mom. However, I held a few part-time jobs over these years, such as doing bookkeeping for a small business. After seeing what a wonderful learning tool the World Book Encyclopedias were for our children, my last part-time job before going to law school was selling them to other families in our community. When I see the encyclopedias on my office bookcase, I often think back on the memories of those precious early years at home with our children. Priceless!
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Understanding Trusts

There are many different types of and purposes for trusts and a trust should be constructed to meet the individual goals of the person establishing it. A trust is a relationship between the settlor(s), the trustee, and the beneficiaries. A settlor (also called a donor, trustor, or grantor) is the person who creates the trust and transfers property to the trust. The trustee is the person who administers the trust according to the terms of the trust. The beneficiary is the person or entity who benefits from, or will benefit from, the trust. There may be more than one settlor, trustee, and beneficiary of a trust.

A trust may be created for almost any lawful purpose. A common reason for creating a trust is to provide for and protect someone. A property owner may want to convey property in trust to a minor child, to an individual who lacks the skills necessary to manage property, to an individual who is prone to use property in an excessive or frivolous manner, or to an individual who is susceptible to undue influence from others. Trusts are not one-size-fits-all. Trusts must be customized to carry out the individual settlor’s wishes.

Here is an overview of the types of trusts to consider:

  • Revocable trust – A trust that can be amended or terminated by the settlor during the settlor’s life.
  • Irrevocable trust – A trust that may not be amended or terminated after it is created; however, states that have adopted some version of the Uniform Trust Code may allow an irrevocable trust to be modified or terminated upon the consent of the settlor and all its beneficiaries.
  • Testamentary trust – created within a last will and testament and does not take effect until the death of the testator (the person who created the will). As part of the testator’s will, testamentary trust is revocable until the death of the testator.
  • Inter vivos trust – created by the settlor during his life and becomes operative during the settlor’s life. When the trust terminates, the property remaining in the trust is distributed according to the terms of the trust. The trust property does not pass pursuant to the settlor’s last will and testament. An inter vivos trust may be either revocable or irrevocable.

Looking for more information? Read our pages on Trusts & Wills and Probate & Trust and Estate Administration.