A living trust is an arrangement under which one person, called a trustee, holds legal title to property for another person, called a beneficiary. Los Angeles trust attorneys are licensed professionals who can help by providing legal advice and preparing relevant documents. You can be the trustee of your own living trust, keeping full control over all property held in trust. A “living trust” (also called an “inter vivos” trust) is simply a trust you create while you’re alive, rather than one that is created at your death. Different kinds of living trusts can help you avoid probate in Los Angeles, reduce estate taxes, or set up long-term property management.
Just like a will, a living trust spells out exactly what your wishes are in regard to your assets, your dependents and heirs. A will becomes effective only after you die and the will has been entered into probate. A living trust bypasses the costly and time-consuming process of probate, allowing your trustee to carry out your instructions at death and also if you become unable to manage your finances, healthcare or legal affairs due to incapacity.
Two Types of Living Trusts in California
Revocable Living Trust:
With a revocable living trust, you transfer all of your assets into the ownership of the trust. You retain control of those assets as the trustee of your revocable living trust. You can change or revoke the trust at any time you want. The assets in the trust pass directly to your beneficiaries without going through probate upon your death. The vast majority of individuals and couples who establish a living trust, establish a “revocable” trust as the basis of their estate plan.
Irrevocable Living Trust:
An irrevocable trust allows you to permanently and irrevocably give away your assets during your lifetime. Usually, after you give away these assets, you have relinquished all control and interest in these assets. Due to that fact, these assets are no longer considered part of your estate and aren’t subject to estate taxes. Irrevocable trust may also provide certain asset protection benefits, due to the fact that you no longer own the assets of the trust.
All living trusts are not the same. Unfortunately, it has been our experience after reviewing thousands of trusts drafted by our competitors, that the vast majority of Living Trusts and other estate planning documents drafted today, are boilerplate documents, cranked out on a computer software program. As a result, many crucial provisions are often left out. For example, in the event that someone were to become incompetent and require nursing home care, under California law, we can do much to protect their assets, as well as their home.
However, if that person is no longer competent to sign documents, then we must rely upon the plan they already have in place. If that plan does not adequately address long-term care asset protection issues, the individual or couple may lose thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars unnecessarily. If, on the other hand, the recipient of long-term care services had established his or her plan through our office, under current law we could protect their principal residence, and a substantial amount (or even all) of their liquid assets. It is, indeed, crucially important to make sure your documents are comprehensive enough to cover a multitude of issues, and flexible enough to adjust to changing circumstances. Read more about free living trust amendment form california.
Other extraordinary provisions which, upon your option, may be included in our Estate Plans which are generally not found in typical estate planning documents drafted by other firms include, but are not limited to:
- Several alternate provisions to reduce or eliminate estate taxes on the passing of a spouse;
- Provisions to reduce or eliminate capital gains taxes on appreciated properties on the passing of a spouse;
- Provisions which assure that your trust may be amended or modified at any time, without a required court petition;
- Provisions which protect the inheritance of your minor beneficiaries;
- Provisions which protect the inheritance of your beneficiaries from possible losses due to divorce, lawsuits, etc.;
- Provisions which protect the inheritance of your beneficiaries from possible losses due to their own improvidence (e.g. drug use, gambling, incarceration);
- Provisions which assure that if you have a disabled beneficiary, or if you have one who becomes disabled in the future, his or her share is protected against loss due to complex public benefits laws; and
- Provisions which provide that any trust which survives you and becomes irrevocable, may still be updated and modified without having to spend thousands of dollars for a court order.
Our Los Angeles estate planning lawyer can help with comprehensive and flexible nature of the documentation. For the entire duration of Mr. McKenzie’s professional experience in California Law, not one of his clients who have established his comprehensive plan, has ever had to resort to a court to protect their assets, modify their documents, or otherwise accomplish any needed or beneficial objective.
Please contact McKenzie Legal & Financial if you are looking for a living trust attorney in Orange County, CA. We provide legal advice and information about creating or evaluating a trust agreement. You may contact our office at (562) 594-4200 for a FREE 30-minute consultation.
EXPERIENCED TRUST LAWYER IN ORANGE COUNTY
It is impossible to know whether a Living Trust based estate plan is drafted properly and comprehensively without reviewing the documents themselves. In order to assure maximum protection, this review should be conducted by a trust attorney in Orange County, CA with a superior level of competence in “comprehensive” estate and long-term care planning procedures. Many couples and individuals who already think they are “protected” under their current plan, may have significant deficiencies. Unless these defects are corrected BEFORE problems arise, serious consequences could follow.
Thomas L. McKenzie, an Orange County trust attorney, gives a personal guarantee to all of his clients, that each and every Living Trust, Durable Power of Attorney and other estate planning document, is PERSONALLY drafted by him in accordance with your unique circumstances.
Please be advised that the information on this site is not meant to be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, or for more information about creating or evaluating a Living Trust, please contact an Estate Planning Attorney in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA at (562) 594-4200 for a FREE 30-minute consultation.