What Is A Living Trust?
A living trust serves as the backbone of every estate plan, allowing the individual who sets up the trust (trustor) to specify which assets are to be placed in trust, to whom they may benefit (beneficiaries) and who is to be entrusted to administer the handling of the assets (trustee).
Hire A Certified Estate Planning, Trust And Probate Law Specialist For Your Trust
Attorney Bruce Ketron is an experienced estate law attorney who focuses exclusively in the area of trusts and estates. As a State Bar of California board-certified specialist in trusts, he understands the complexities of living trusts and which features may be most advantageous and beneficial for your family’s needs.
Living Trusts — A Brief Explanation
A living trust is a set of written instructions for who handles your assets and how the assets are to be handled during your life and after.
A living trust (also called a “revocable living trust” or a “family trust”) is a legal document that contains your instructions. It sets out who handles your assets when you cannot manage them and how to distribute property after death. It has the status of a legal entity with its own IRS taxpayer identification number (which is your Social Security number when you are alive).
To What Ends Should You Set Up A Trust?
Trusts serve many purposes. If assets are properly held in a trust, probate can be avoided when the trustor dies. In this way, the process of distributing assets can be kept out of the court (and therefore kept private!) and can save time and/or money. A trust also avoids the expense and problems of having a court conservatorship proceeding in the event of disability.
A living trust should be a custom document, specific to your own unique situation. Extensive (and expensive) legal problems often happen when people are sold a nonlawyer trust mill document, or if a trust is created using an online service or “do-it-yourself” program. The role of the lawyer is to give your decisions legal effect and ensure that your wishes are carried out. If actions are taken without talking to an attorney, you can not only waste time and money, but also can create even more problems down the line.