Living Trust for Los Angeles Residents

If You own a Home or have Children, a Living Trust Might be a Good Choice

living trust clientsA “Living Trust” – also known as a “Living Revocable Trust” or simply a “Revocable Trust,” is a modern substitute for a traditional Will. The purpose of a Living Trust just like that of a Will: to distribute your estate at death. For most individuals, stand-alone Wills are no longer desirable, because a traditional Will, in most instances, forces your estate into Probate court upon one’s death.

Avoiding Probate with a Living Trust – Probate is costly and time-consuming, requiring 6-to-24 months of the survivor’s time which can be frustrating. Heirs must often make mortgage payments, and take on all the bills of the deceased person for the long, drawn-out Probate process.

Protect Assets & Avoid Probate

A properly drafted and funded Living Trust can Avoid Probate, forego the 6-24-months of sheer misery as a Probate crawls through the probate court, and sidestep Probate’s steep costs. A Living Trust will, on average, see your estate distributed to your heirs with minimal expense in less than six months. It gets better – in that some Living Trusts can be designed to Protect Assets from scammers and predators while you are still living.

A Living Trust Must Be ‘Funded” by Transferring Assets

For a Living Trust to be effective, your assets (home, vacation home, vehicles, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, coin collections, personal property, etc.) must be funded (transferred) to it and titled in the name of the Living Trust. Once transferred, those assets are then legally owned by the trust instead and not you. Don’t worry, the trust is usually controlled by you: the trustee. That’s the magic of a Living Trust! You may be BOTH the “Trustee” and the “Beneficiary” of that new Living Trust and you will continue to use and enjoy all your ‘stuff’ just as if nothing had legally changed. You will have to have your bank checks reprinted, and the titles to your real estate and vehicles changed over to reference the Trust, but often the name of the trust includes your name, so there’s never any difficulties cashing checks, or to going about the business of life.

Bank check BEFORE Living Trust: “Jeff and Joan Rhodes”
Bank check AFTER   Living Trust: “The Jeff and Joan Rhodes Living Trust”

Bank Check for Trust

A Pour-Over Will is a “Catch-All”for a Living Trust

Did you “transfer” your grandfather’s coin collection into your new Living Trust? How about grandma’s jewelry? Virtually everyone who attempts to “fund” their new Living Trust will overlook transferring some valuable or sentimental assets into the trust. Even the most fastidious and compulsive people will overlook transferring some assets into their new Living Trust, therefore, a well-crafted estate plan by our law firm will always include BOTH a Living Trust and a Pour-Over Will.

What is a Pour-Over Will?

The Pour-Over Will is designed to take care of newly-acquired or all those forgotten assets transfers like the coin collection. There could be a small probate process needed for any overlooked assets — but only if your heirs were to have a dispute over any of the never transferred. When needed, the Pour-Over Will keeps a potential probate limited to contested –unfunded assets– and the process will be simple, inexpensive, and no professional help should be needed. All the major assets in the Living Trust will have been distributed, and any overlooked assets (if there are any) will be dispersed as per the instructions of the Pour-Over Will.

In a typical Living Trust – you will name yourself as the Trustor (person who sets up the Trust), AND the Trustee (person who manages the Trust), AND the Beneficiary (person who gets the assets from the Trust). As Trustor, you can make changes to the Trust (via Amendment) anytime you decide to make changes. What does this mean? You have COMPLETE CONTROL over the terms of the Trust. Yeah… We know… Why didn’t you do a Living Trust years ago?

Taking Control of Your Life – Blessing Your Spouse and Kids

It does not matter how old your are, or how many assets you have accumulated; planning for the future is always a good idea.  One of our Los Angeles Living Trust Lawyers can review your unique circumstances and help determine if a simple Will or a Trust will be the best choice in your case.  There are many different types of Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts that we can explain to you in detail. We assist our clients with the drafting of valid Wills and Trusts, so you won’t be one of those procrastinators who leaves the important decisions concerning your assets, finances and Inheritance to government workers in downtown Los Angeles years from now.

Call us for a Phone Discussion or a Day, Evening or Weekend Appointment

If you are considering a Living Trust, please contact a Los Angeles living trust attorney today at (562) 265-1218 for a free consultation. We also handle California Probate and Estate matters for out-of-state individuals who need a trusted local lawyer to assert their rights here in L.A. If you are at work or unable to talk right now, please drop us a note using the quick contact form up a little bit on the left.