Living Trusts

Living Trusts

Living Trusts

A living trust (also referred to as a revocable living trust or revocable trust) ensures that after you pass away your property is easily distributed to your beneficiaries without the complications and costs of probate. A living trust also allows you to retain full control over your property and make any changes to your living trust during your lifetime.

 

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Revocable living trusts allow you to retain full control over trust property while you are still alive. After you pass away, your property in your trust is transferred quickly to your beneficiaries without the complications and costs of probate.

Revocable living trusts are very flexible estate planning devices because they allow you to transfer some or all of your property by trust. Also, revocable living trusts are not made public upon your death, unlike a will that becomes part of the public record after going through probate (thus protecting your family’s privacy). Also, a revocable trust can be revoked or changed at any time, for any reason, while you are alive and have capacity.  Because you may change it at any time, you effectively own all the property you transferred to your revocable living trust and can do what you want with that property, including sell it, spend it, borrow against it or give it away.

You create a living trust for your benefit or the benefit of your loved ones during your lifetime. Your living trust is created by a legal document that includes instructions setting forth to whom you want to leave your assets and who will manage your assets if you become unable to manage them. A living trust allows you to maintain control of your assets while making sure the assets are managed according to your wishes upon your death or incapacity.

Once you establish a living trust, the next step will involve transferring your assets into the trust, such as real property and personal property. After the transfer, these assets still remain in your control. Furthermore, transferring assets to your living trust will not trigger federal gift, estate, or income tax consequences because, although the assets are held in the name of you as the trustee of your living trust, you are still considered the owner for tax purposes.

The revocable living trust is typically used instead of a will. The primary reason to have a trust is to avoid or minimize court costs and legal fees associated with probate. Probate fees can range anywhere from 3%-7% of your total estate. The assets placed in the living trust are not subject to probate or estate administration.

A revocable living trust can be a valuable estate planning tool to help you maintain control over your assets during your lifetime and at death. A living trust may be used as a substitute for a will, allowing flexibility for lifetime changes such as marriage, partnership, divorce and children. A living trust can also help you reduce or eliminate probate and administrative expenses when your estate is settled. By creating a living trust, with the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney, you can lower estate costs and fees and avoid unnecessary taxation at the federal and state levels.

The Law Offices of Eric A. Rudolph P.C. can help. An experienced California estate planning attorney can provide you with more information on preparing and funding your revocable living trust.

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Living Trusts FAQs

Do i need a living trust?

If you own your house, you need a living trust. If you are married and own your house together, you should create a family/marital trust. If you want to set up a trust fund for someone or give someone the right to live in your house after you die (but not own it outright), you need a living trust. And most importantly, if you want to protect your assets from going through probate, you need a living trust. Have an experienced estate planning attorney prepare your living trust.

What are the benefits of a living trust?

The main benefit of a living trust is that assets that pass through your living trust avoid probate, thus allowing quick and easy transfer to your loved ones. If you are married and create a family/marital trust, there may be estate tax advantages for the surviving spouse. And a living trust is a document that protects your privacy (unlike a will which is filed with the court and is part of the public record anyone can see).

Should i transfer my house into a living trust?

Yes, you should transfer your house to your living trust. By filing a trust transfer deed with the county where your house is located, you ensure your house will pass through your trust and not be subject to probate. This will save thousands of dollars that can go to your loved ones and not to lawyers or the court. But you want to be sure the transfer is handled correctly to avoid possible reassessment of your property taxes. And make sure to have an experienced estate planning attorney handle the transfer of your house into your trust in order to avoid title problems when the house is eventually sold and to avoid probate.

Are living trusts only for the very wealthy?

No, everyone who owns their house, land or even a manufactured home needs a living trust. There are many people who do not have a lot of money in the bank, but they own their house or manufactured home when they pass away. You do not have to be “wealthy” to benefit from a living trust. And your loved ones will thank you later when they do not have to go to probate.

Why should i update my existing living trust by a restatement instead of an amendment?

If you already have a living trust or family/marital trust and you want to update it, the best way to do this is by a restatement. A restatement allows you to “republish” your trust and replace the original trust, thus updating the entire document, including your distribution plan and naming your trustee, but without creating a whole new trust. Also with a restatement, all assets currently titled in your trust stay exactly the way they are (no need to re-title existing trust assets, like your house). With an amendment, you only update one part of your trust but the original trust document stays in place. The biggest advantage to a restatement over an amendment is that when it comes time to administer your trust, your beneficiaries and heirs only see the most current restatement. With an amendment, your beneficiaries and heirs see the original trust document and all subsequent amendments, so if you treated them differently in the amendment, they will know it. A restatement protects your privacy and avoids the unpleasant disclosure to beneficiaries of changes in your distribution plan.

Preparing the best estate plan for your individual needs.

Estate Planning Attorney, Eric A. Rudolph, Esq. proudly offers a full range of specialized estate planning and living trust services. His dedicated guidance has helped many Palm Springs families, LGBTQ, couples and individuals avoid financial and legal pitfalls.

Living Trust Attorney Palm Springs, Ca

The Law Offices of Eric A. Rudolph P.C. provides living trust services to the desert community including: Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, La Quinta, Indio, Bermuda Dunes, Thousand Palms and surrounding Coachella Valley areas.

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Living Trust Services Palm Springs

Living Trust Attorney Palm Springs

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