Helping Your Family Move Forward

What is a living trust?

A living trust could be an important part of your comprehensive estate plan in California. A living trust names a trustee who you designate as responsible for managing your assets for the eventual benefit of your heirs.

If you get to a point in your life where you cannot manage your own assets, your trustee will do so for you according to your wishes. Creating a living trust can have many benefits for you and your family. A living trust could give you even stronger legal protections than a will.

Easy asset distribution

A living trust allows your family to bypass the often difficult and time-consuming probate process after you pass on. Rather than having the courts probate your estate, your trustee will have the legal authority to quickly and easily distribute your assets to designated beneficiaries. In most cases, the court does not have to get involved.

Peace of mind

Having an attorney draw up the trust documents is just the first part of estate planning; you must populate the trust as well. You will need to transfer the titles of your assets to the trust so that you no longer legally own them. Otherwise, they will still be part of your estate when you die. If you also do not list the assets in your will, the probate courts will distribute them to your heirs according to the state’s succession plan. If you correctly plan your estate and organize a living trust, however, you can enjoy long-term peace of mind.

Someone protecting your best interests

The thought of becoming incapacitated might be frightening, but it can be less so after you create a living trust. Designating someone to oversee things if you become physically or mentally incapacitated can protect you and your estate. Your trustee can take care of high-value assets, businesses, properties and bank accounts on your behalf according to your wishes.