Back in 2014 I met with Sam Jones (name changed to protect client’s confidentiality) at a local senior center where I volunteer once a month. Sam’s wife recently passed away and Sam was concerned about what would happen to his assets after he passed away. Sam has four children, Sally, Sandy, Scott, and Sam Jr. Sam’s biggest concern was that when he passed away the family home that he and his wife had worked so hard to pay off would have to go through probate. I advised Sam that the best way to protect his family home, and all his assets, was to establish and fund a revocable living trust.

Shortly after our meeting at the local senior center, Sam retained our office to prepare the Sam Jones revocable living trust (as well as other estate planning documents, including a pourover will, a durable power of attorney and an advance health care directive). Sam transferred his family home into his revocable living trust. He also transferred his bank accounts and his non-retirement investment accounts into his revocable living trust. And he named his revocable living trust as the beneficiary of his life insurance policy. As for his IRA, Sam named his four children as the beneficiaries so that the IRA could pass to his children by beneficiary designation. Sam named his four children to be equal beneficiaries of his revocable living trust and he named his daughter, Sally, to be the successor trustee after his death. Sam wanted to make sure that all his assets would pass to his four children as smoothly and as quickly as possible without the hassles, delays and costs of probate. By establishing and funding his revocable living trust, Sam ensured this would happen.

In 2016, Sam passed away. His daughter, Sally, as successor trustee, retained our office to assist her with the administration of her father’s trust. Because her father had already transferred the family home into the trust, Sally did not need a court order to give her authority to sell the house. After a simple affidavit was filed with the County Recorder’s office, Sally had the legal authority to sell the house. Sally was also able to work with all of her father’s banks and financial institutions to have his accounts consolidated into one trust bank account, which she then used to pay all expenses associated with the administration of her father’s Revocable living trust (such as fees to maintain the family house before it sold, legal fees and the accountant’s fees). Within six weeks of Sam’s death, the life insurance company paid the death benefit to the trust and Sally deposited that money into the central trust bank account. Within three months of Sam’s death, Sally sold the family house and the proceeds from the sale were wired to the central trust bank account. After Sally was sure that all fees, costs and expenses had been paid, she distributed the money in the central trust bank account to her three siblings and herself. The entire process of administering her father’s Revocable living trust took less than six months.

Last month, I received an email from Sally thanking me for making this process so easy for her and her siblings. But in reality it was her father who had made it easy for them. By establishing and funding a revocable living trust he ensured that when he passed away, his family home, his financial accounts and his other assets, would be easily and quickly be administered and distributed to his four children without the need for probate.

Revocable Living Trusts

Revocable Living Trust

Would you like more information on Revocable Living Trusts? The Law Offices of Eric A. Rudolph can assist you . We can assist you in preparing a Revocable Living Trust and other estate planning services. Contact the Law Offices of Eric A. Rudolph at (760) 673-7600 for all your estate planning and estate administration needs.