Living Trust to Aid the Living. Nobody wants to die, but death is a certainty — it is only a question of when. Most of us want to die with the peace of knowing that those we leave behind will not be burdened by our death. For this reason, we prepare our last will and testament, buy insurance policies and set up trusts for our children. Perhaps we should also consider setting up a living trust in addition to all the financial safeguards we have already put in place.
A living trust is aptly named, as it primarily benefits the living — or the surviving — family members of a deceased person. It aids them in the fact that it allows them to save a large amount of money and time by avoiding the expensive and lengthy process of probate. It also allows them to keep their privacy in the process.
Having a living trust may not save you from paying estate and inheritance taxes, but it does protect you from having to shell out astronomical amounts in probate court costs and lawyer fees. Executing the stipulations of a living trust may take weeks to complete, but that is a small price to pay in exchange of spending at least six months going through probate. Finally, a trust falls outside the control of probate court; therefore one is not forced to go through a public process or report to the probate court as regards the distribution of the deceased person’s properties.
Before actually setting up a living trust, however, you may want to consult a probate attorney who could provide legal input and help you ensure that your trust is handled properly. It is also imperative to specify a beneficiary for all of your assets to make sure that there are no loopholes that may place any of your properties into probate control.
Tax, Trust & Estate Attorneys, P.C.
24300 Town Center Drive Suite 390
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 799-8838 fax