Living Trusts: What are Some Benefits of Living Trusts?

What is a Living Trust?

A living trust is an arrangement under which a trustee holds legal title to property.  You can be the trustee on your living trust or you may appoint someone to be the trustee.  Many people appoint a family member or spouse as the trustee of their living trust.  If you decide to appoint someone other than yourself as trustee, it is important you choose someone who is competent and trustworthy.

Here are some ways in which a living trust can help your estate:

  1. Avoiding Probate. All assets in a living trust bypass probate.  This helps avoid the long and costly probate process.
  2. Avoiding conservatorship. This is a court proceeding that is typically time consuming and fairly restrictive.  A conservatorship usually comes into play when a person can no longer manage his or her finances.  A conservator is appointed by the court and thereby has the power to make decisions about the conservatee’s affairs.  If a living trust is prepared, there can be a successor trustee who can manage the trust when the trustor is unable to.

How do I create a Living Trust in California?

There are a couple of steps to follow to create a living trust in California:

  1. Create the trust document. The trust document will identify the trustee of the living trust.  The trust document will also identify who can inherit the trust property.
  2. Signing the trust document. A living trust should be signed in front of a notary public.
  3. Transferring property. You can transfer property you own, such as a house or car or motorcycle, to your trustee.

If you have questions about a creating a living trust, you should speak with an experienced estate planning attorney who can provide you with assistance.

Contact the Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation.