Why do I need a Living Trust?
The two most important reasons to have a Living Trust: The first is to avoid the cost, agony and time consuming process of Probate. The second is that YOU decide (not the courts), who will be conservator or guardian if you become incompetent or incapacitated.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Probate?
Probate is a court process to establish clear title to, or ownership of, an asset. Upon your death, before title to your assets can pass to your heirs, all potential claimants to those assets must be eliminated. The process of eliminating all potential claimants is called Probate, a process that can be costly, time-consuming, and agonizing.* According to an AARP report on the Probate process, a study found that the average time of Probate was two years and three months and the average cost of Probate consumed 5 to 10 percent of the gross estate.
Trusts Advantages: No Probate; family in control, completely private, you decide who will be conservator or guardian if you become incompetent. If you have only a Will: goes through Probate, wait months or years, court in control, public record, court decides who will be conservator or guardian if you become incompetent.
A Living Trust holds title to your Real Estate and as a Legal Entity, is not required to go through Probate. Only a person (a human being) who holds title to Real Estate will go through Probate. A Will can not hold title to Real Estate.
The Living Trust becomes, in effect, your Will and specifically spells out to whom, when, and how your assets are to be distributed. Nevertheless, another document, known as the "Pour Over Will", can be used to accompany the Living Trust. The Pour Over Will simply says, in effect, that if you forgot to place an asset into your Living Trust, it is your intent (upon your death) that such assets "pour over" into your Living Trust.
The Living Trust helps to preserve the federal estate tax exclusions of both spouses. The exclusion for an individual is currently 2 million dollars and for a married couple is 4 million dollars.
Yes, but a Living Trust’s veil is far more difficult to break through than a Will, which can act as an effective deterrent from such attempts. However, in our experience we have dealt with thousands of Living Trusts, and our Trusts has never failed in or out of court.
Absolutely not. As the Trustee of your own Trust, you maintain full control of everything you place inside your Trust.
By doing that, you expose yourself to unnecessary risks such a losing partial control of your home. You also expose yourself to your child’s creditors and lawsuits, as well as possible tax consequences.
You can make changes to your Trust any time you wish. We will assist you with any changes you would like to make.
That depends on the extent and complexity of the change, but typically there is no charge for changes.
No it does not. Only your Real Estate needs to be recorded with the County Recorder.
We will notify you of any changes that would directly effect your Trust.
No. The Living Trust is the core of our Estate Plan documents. A complete “Living Trust” includes: a Revocable Living Trust, Durable Power of Attorney for Property and Personal Affairs, Advance Health Care Directive, Appointment of Guardian, Last Will & Testament with Pour-Over Provisions, and Medi-Cal and Long Term Care Considerations.
From the first consultation to completion is approximately 4 to 5 weeks, but in the case of an emergency, we can have the Trust created and delivered in a week.
Keep it in a place that you feel is safe and secure. For example, a safe deposit box at your local bank or a fireproof safe box at home.
We can reproduce the Trust, but it will need to be signed in the presence of a notary.
The Attorney will always appoint another Attorney to continue the services on your Trust, and we will notify you of any change.
The cost of a Living Trust depends on the complexity of your Estate. It will vary with each individual or family, but we guarantee the best price for our services.
Toll Free: (866) 721-1990
* The preceeding information regarding Probate is quoted from The Living Trust: The
Failproof Way to Pass Along Your Estate to Your Heirs Without Lawyers, Courts or
the Probate System by Henry W. Abts, McGraw-Hill Professional, 2002.