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What is a Living Trust?

Revocable Living Trusts, also referred to as revocable inter vivos trusts (“inter vivos” is Latin for “between the living”), are an increasingly popular way to hold title to assets and avoid the Probate Court process. It is anticipated many more Americans will use a Revocable Living Trust in the years ahead.

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What is in a typical Estate Plan?

When one has an Estate Plan, and more specifically, a Revocable Living Trust, it is important that that Estate Plan be administrated. In other words, an administrator is the person that is nominated in the Living Trust document to manage the Trust.

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What is Probate?

Due to the fact, at least in the state of California, if you own real estate, you will be required to court-supervised Probate. Probate is a lengthy, costly, bureaucratic, court process, which the majority of Californians will have to go through. There is an option to avoid Probate, and that is the Estate Plan which would include a Living Trust.

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Living Trust Attorney Escondido

A Living Trust – you have probably heard the term before and perhaps dismissed it, thinking that, whatever it means, it doesn’t apply to you.  In reality, a Living Trust – or lack of one – impacts beneficiaries associated with a loved one’s estate. 

The Lawyer In Blue Jeans Group specializes in Living Trusts and our team of attorneys empowers Escondido families to efficiently handle their estates with specific and clear directives on how, and to whom, one’s assets should be disbursed, after death.  Our San Diego-based law firm focuses, entirely, on Estate Planning and Probate Law!

 

Why is a Living Trust So Important?

You might be asking, “What’s the big deal about having a Living Trust if one, already, has a Will in place?”  That question can, best, be answered by stressing two critical points:  1) both entities transfer an estate to heirs, but only a Living Trust can bypass Probate Court and 2) a Will takes effect, only, upon death but a Living Trust may be used by the Trust creator, known as the “Settlor,” during his or her life and would continue to be used once the Settlor passes.

If you are not familiar with the importance of establishing a Living Trust, you are not alone.  Most of our Escondido patrons who seek a Living Trust attorney are unaware of how not having a Living Trust can set the stage for emotional and financial upheaval.

For example, if a Will exists without a Living Trust, Probate proceedings take place by default, which would immediately freeze assets in the decedent’s name, often, for one or more years.  This could include bank accounts, real-estate properties, vehicles, etc.  Those assets, designated for beneficiaries, cannot be accessed, sold, transferred, or managed by the beneficiaries until Probate proceedings are over.

The unsettling realities don’t stop there, however.  Probate is, predictably, very expensive and time consuming.  And if a decedent’s assets were located in more than one state, the costs, the time, the frustrations, and the waiting can turn into a nightmare. 

Escondido families benefit from our Living Trust attorney team who offers the kind of assurance, guidance, and support they need and want to avoid the Probate process through the creation of a Comprehensive Estate Plan which would include a Living Trust

 

A Living Trust Attorney is Your Potent Ally

The Probate process should be avoided at all costs. With a Living Trust in place, Escondido families have the reassurance that Probate will not become their concern!  Trusts ensure that beneficiaries are not left dealing with the courts and that one’s legacy remains fluid to benefit those they love.

The establishment of a Living Trust generates some very important advantages, including:

  • Cutting costs:  California is known for its exorbitant Probate costs which can be as high as 5% or more of the gross value of the estate.  All property that has been transferred into a Living Trust avoids Probate.
  • Saving time:  It is not uncommon for a Probate proceeding to span several years. Contrast that with a Living Trust procedure where the transfer of property to named beneficiaries can take place in a matter of months, or less.
  • Assuring Privacy:  Probate proceedings are open to the public, at any time.  By contrast, details involving a Living Trust are accessible to only beneficiaries and heirs.
  • Avoiding multiple-state issues:  If you own property in more than one state without a Living Trust, a separate Probate proceeding must be conducted for each state.  This means additional costs, additional personal time expended, and delays within the Probate process.  With a Living Trust, all assets – regardless of where they are located – are placed in one Trust.  Multiple Probate proceedings are avoided.
  • Discouraging legal challenges:  Typically, a Living Trust is much more difficult to challenge than a Will.  Any interested person may contest a Will at the initial Probate Court hearing. Contesting a Living Trust, however, involves a costly and time-consuming process that discourages most people from initiating a challenge. Trust language can further discourage contestation by heightening the risks of doing so.
  • Protection during disability:  If, for whatever reason, you become incapable of managing your affairs – buying or selling property, withdrawing funds, paying bills, etc. – a Comprehensive Estate Plan ensures your successor trustee can manage your assets until you regain your health.

Our Living Trust Attorney team is available for families in Escondido when it’s time to draft a Proper Estate Plan that includes a Will, a Living Trust, an Advance Healthcare Directive, and a Durable Power of Attorney.

contact us

619-683-2545

3990 Old Town Avenue
Suite A-102
San Diego, CA 92110

frontdesk@lawyerinbluejeans.com

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