You are reaching retirement age, and you know which of your loved ones you want receiving your acquired assets. Perhaps you want to hand down your family business to your son, you want to gift your expensive, collectible car to your daughter, and you want to leave substantial assets to your grandchildren when you pass away. You want to have the authority to manage these assets while you are still alive and make alterations if necessary.
In California, a living trust exists to provide you peace of mind in knowing who will receive your property when you pass away. A living trust allows you to determine specific assets and place them in a secure trust, so that your beneficiaries can receive your generous gifts quickly after you pass away. To ensure that a living trust is the best trust document for your unique situation, you may wish to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney. He or she will hold the expertise in helping you file all necessary documents for a legal living trust and aid you in updating your trust as your beneficiaries and assets change.
The benefits of a living trust
Living trusts allow you to choose assets and their beneficiaries before you pass away. Unlike a will, living trusts are not subjected to the probate process, which may take months or years to distribute your assets to your loved ones.
When you create a living trust, as the grantor, you will name a trustee to oversee your assets. This trustee can be you, so you can still maintain ownership and distribution of your assets. You will name a second trustee to take care of your property when you pass away.
You can review and edit living trusts as you wish. Perhaps another grandchild is added to your growing family, and you wish to add the baby to your document. Perhaps the trustee you chose to distribute your assets after you pass away now seems unfit for the job. An attorney can help you quickly update these elements.
Creating a living trust constitutes a responsible decision, especially if you have substantial assets and know which beneficiaries you will gift your assets to. It is essential that you create a sound legal document, so you may wish to speak with an attorney to help you determine all elements of your valid trust in California.