Knowledgeable Trusts Attorney Serving Huntington Beach Families
A trust is a legal document by which someone you trust (i.e. your “trustee”) holds legal title to your property following your death. While you can be the trustee of your own living trust, many people elect to have a separate individual manage their estates. Additionally, a “living trust” is an official document created while you’re still alive as opposed to one following your death.
Advantages of a Living Trust
The biggest advantage to establishing a living trust is to spare your family the expenses associated with probate following your death. Since California does not adhere to the Uniform Probate Code, it is highly recommended that you establish a living trust if you wish to avoid the state’s complicated probate process. However, California has a simplified probate process for estates valued under $100,000. If you think your net worth will be under this amount when you die, the probate process will be relatively straightforward.
You Should Still Establish a Will
It simply never hurts to establish a will. Indeed, if you acquire new assets and don’t add them to your trust before you die, that property will not be distributed under the terms of the trust document. You can also use a will to name someone to inherit property that you haven’t specified in your trust. If you don’t have a will, any and all property that isn’t transferred by your living trust will go to your closest relatives pursuant to California state law.
In order to establish a living trust, you will need to designate a trustee and sign the document in the presence of a notary public. You must also transfer any and all property (i.e. your home, car, etc.) to whomever you designated as a trustee