Older woman working on estate plan with attorney

Common Myths About California Trusts

Despite the importance, there is still much confusion surrounding estate planning and specifically trusts. Here are some common myths about your California trust and how you can establish one for yourself. 

1. MYTH: Living trusts are too expensive and you can’t afford one.

You may be under the false impression that a living trust simply costs too much for you to be able to afford one. However, living trusts aren’t much more costly than a basic will – even with a very knowledgeable attorney. If you’re concerned you can always discuss the price of the document with an attorney before he or she conducts any work on it.   

2. MYTH: Living trusts are only for the rich.

Many people fail to establish trusts – or any estate planning documents, really – because they are under the false impression that they don’t need one because they don’t have a lot of money. While it can be very helpful to have a living trust if you’re wealthy, there are many other important reasons to establish one. 

  • A Special Needs Trust can provide for a child or loved one with special needs (without causing them to become ineligible for government benefits). 
  • A Medicaid Trust can help your spouse become eligible for Medicaid in order to afford their long-term nursing home or assisted living care. 
  • A Spendthrift Trust can help a loved one with their expenses without allowing them to use the money on unwise purchases. This can be very helpful for individuals with addiction or mental health issues. 
  • A Trust can also help should you become incapacitated. You can serve as the initial trustee until you are no longer able to or simply don’t want to. Then an individual you choose can manage things for you based on your own instructions within the Trust. 
  • A Trust can also prevent your heard-earned assets from being taken by creditors or divorce.

None of the aforementioned reasons require an individual to be rich in order for the Trust to make sense and serve a clear purpose. 

3. MYTH: Living trusts can’t help others until after you pass away.

Not only can living trusts help others while you are still alive, but they can offer incredible benefits. This can be seen in any of the above reasons under the first myth as well as many other reasons not listed. 

4. MYTH: Once you have estate planning assets, you’re good to go.

Unfortunately, this last myth can be really harmful. Many people believe that once they set up their estate planning documents, such as a living trust, that they don’t have to do anything else for them – ever. Unfortunately, if you fail to regularly review your estate planning documents, your assets could end up being distributed in a manner you don’t desire. Things such as death, divorce, and marriage can all impact your trust. Without updating your trust and its beneficiaries, individuals whom you didn’t intend to receive that much could walk away with a lot. 

Biddle Law Can Help 

When you work hard for your assets, you want them to go to the people you choose. That’s why it’s imperative that you not only establish a living trust, but also regularly review and update it when necessary. This can help to protect your interests and those of your loved ones. A trust is just one part of a comprehensive estate plan that can make all the difference. This is why it’s so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced California estate planning attorney who knows the current laws and has experience dealing with such important estate planning documents. 

At Biddle Law, we are here to answer all of your questions and walk you through the entire process. We care about you and your loved ones and want to help in any way we can. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!