How A Living Trust Can Help You

The estate planning attorneys at Anastasi & Nielsen have over 40 years of experience helping California families with their estate planning needs. One of the most common parts of many estate plans is a living trust. A living trust can help you and your family pass along assets without having to go through the probate process.

What Is A Living Trust?

A living trust is a legal document among three parties:

  • The settlor is the person who creates the trust.
  • The trustee is the person who manages and controls the property transferred to the trust by the settlor.
  • The beneficiary is the person who receives the benefit of the trust. In a typical estate plan, the settlor, trustee and beneficiary may all be the same person.

A living trust usually is revocable, which means that the settlor may amend, change or terminate the living trust at any time. Therefore, the settlor has full control of the trust and its assets. When the settlor dies, the trust usually becomes irrevocable so that no one can change the settlor's plan for distributing the assets after the death of the settlor.

Advantages Of A Living Trust

There are three principal advantages to a living trust:

  • A properly funded trust will avoid probate at the death of the settlor. This will save considerable costs and hassle for the beneficiaries. Although there are some fees involved in administering a living trust after the death of the settlor, they are usually considerably less than the statutory probate fees.
  • If the settlor becomes unable to manage his affairs, a court-appointed conservator of the settlor's assets would not be necessary. The successor trustee would take over and manage the assets and pay the settlor's bills.
  • Privacy: With a living trust there is no one, single document listing all of the decedent's assets and their value at the date of death, which is a matter of public record in a probate estate. Also, there is no single public record of how or who receives those assets after the decedent's death.

For more information about living trusts and the benefits that they may provide to you, please click here.

Schedule You Free Consultation

To discuss creating a living trust with one of our lawyers, please contact us at our San Jose office by calling 408-780-3580 or by sending us an email. We will walk you through the options that are available to you, and help you do what is best for your family.