Are you interested in using estate planning tools to accomplish your personal goals and make the transfer of property to your loved ones as easy as possible? A revocable living trust can achieve multiple things at once; for that reason, it is a popular estate planning tool.
Proper estate planning calls on you to hire an experienced attorney to help guide you through that process. The support of a California revocable trust lawyer can be instrumental in helping you understand how all of your tools work together. You need peace of mind that your estate plan will function as you intended when the time comes.
What is a Revocable Trust in California?
A revocable living trust is both a document and an instrument managed by a trustee during your lifetime. As the creator of the trust, you’ll be both the grantor and the trustee. You can make changes to the trust or dissolve it. Income earned by the assets inside the trust is taxable, but the property effectively titled into the trust is not part of your probated estate, unlike other property named in your will.
5 Benefits of a Revocable Trust in California
One of the biggest reasons more California residents are electing to use trusts is because they allow the creator to manage the property as they wish. Since the trust is a revocable document, you might make changes throughout your life to account for new plans or new beneficiaries. You can also leverage this document to ensure that your intentions with estate planning are evident; it is difficult for disgruntled family members to challenge a trust, making this a powerful tool for estate planning purposes.
There are multiple benefits to leveraging these estate planning tools. Here are five reasons you might use a revocable trust in California.
Properly titling assets in the name of the revocable trust is vital because this marks the moment those assets are no longer owned by your estate and are instead owned by the trust. Those assets officially exit what’s considered your probate estate.
With a living trust, you avoid the expense and delay of probate to allow your beneficiaries to get these assets more quickly after you pass away.
Choose Someone You Trust to Manage Your Assets if You Are Not Mentally Competent
As the grantor and creator of the trust, you are the primary trustee. But if you become unable to make decisions on your own due to an accident or disability, the successor trustee you previously named takes over that role.
The successor trustee should be a person you trust and someone confident in their ability to step in and execute the terms of the trust while you are unable to do so. Likewise, the successor trustee also gets appointed when you pass away if there are still assets to distribute.
You Decide How to Distribute Your Assets
With a will, you can determine how your loved ones get your assets once you pass away. However, a revocable trust enables you to decide the exact manner in which to distribute your assets. A revocable trust gives you more control and flexibility over the timeline and what that looks like for your beneficiaries.
If you want a beneficiary to receive a certain amount per month rather than a lump sum or a loved one that you’d like to get trust assets in a particular way, a revocable trust is tailored to your wishes and needs. Working directly with a California revocable trust lawyer will help ensure you’ve considered all the most critical issues and have a plan for crafting and executing this trust.
You Determine Who Gets Your Assets
Do you have different plans for various family members or friends regarding what they’ll receive from your estate? A trust gives you maximum flexibility to determine who your beneficiaries are, what they will get, and how they will get it. If you have specific plans for certain assets and heirs, a revocable trust allows you to document that with your goals and desires in mind.
While other assets like 401k benefits and life insurance policy proceeds will pass outside of your trust due to the beneficiary forms you file with those companies, you can set up your strategy for other assets inside your revocable trust.
You Maintain Your Privacy Regarding Your Estate
Basic estate planning can be accomplished in your will, but perhaps you want to ensure a layer of privacy even within your own family so that your plans for who gets what are not a matter of public record.
A revocable trust is a private document managed by the trustee or successor trustee. It’s not entered into court records with the rest of your estate either when it’s created or after you pass away.
Do You Still Have Questions About A Revocable Living Trust in California? California Probate and Trust, PC Has Answers
If you have further questions about establishing and using a revocable trust, schedule a consultation with a California living trust lawyer today for more information. R. Dustin MacFarlane, Attorney, and Founder of California Probate and Trust, PC, and his staff are ready to help. Contact us at (916) 674-2066 to schedule an appointment.
You can also get a copy of our free guide, The 7 Reasons Why You Need An Estate Plan by calling our 24-hour hotline at (916) 603-2783. Leave us your name, phone number, and mailing address and we’ll send you the guide ASAP.
Listen to R. Dustin MacFarlane discuss “Starting with the End in Mind” on his informative podcast, Legally Speaking.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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