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Biddle Law Estate Planning Blog

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

What to Know About Living Trusts

When a loved one passes away, the oft-drawn out probate process commonly results in increased expenses. This is the last thing that you want your heirs to go through when they are grieving such a loss. To contend with these issues, living trusts are often created.

A living trust is a legal document, often used as part of a comprehensive estate plan, that allows you to assign ownership of your assets to the people you so choose. A trustee, who you will assign, is tasked with overseeing the distribution process and ensuring that your wishes are properly carried out. While you can assign the role of trustee to someone else, you can also decide to be trustee.

Living Trusts

There are two separate types of living trusts: revocable and irrevocable.

A revocable living trust, as the name implies, affords you the ability to maintain control over your trust. One of its benefits is that it does not get filed with the probate court and will, therefore, remain private.

An irrevocable living trust is permanent; you may only move assets outside of the trust if every party named in it provides express consent. One of its benefits is that since you essentially relinquish control of an irrevocable living trust, the taxes on its assets belong to the trust and not to you.

Why Should I Consider a Living Trust?

A living trust can be used for various purposes. Aside from tax benefits and probate, a living trust can be used to assign property to a minor child. The trustee can then hold the property in the trust until the child reaches the age of 18 or 21.

Living trusts are also beneficial in the event that you should become incapacitated. If that should happen you do not need to establish a conservatorship for your assets since a trustee has already been appointed as a part of your living trust.

Is a Will Still Necessary?

Although living trusts are extremely beneficial, the creation of a will is often also recommended given that there may still be assets that have not been included in it. A living will is also different than a living trust in that a living will provides for medical directives; naming an executor; establishing child guardianship; and more.

A living trust can serve to successfully supplement your will and minimize the aggravation and complexities that commonly occur after one has passed.

Biddle Law Helps Those in California Who Want to Create a Living Trust

When a loved one passes away, the emotional impact can be significant. The last thing that your loved ones feel like doing is dealing with the aggravation often associated with the probate process. That is why it is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced San Mateo estate planning attorney.

At Biddle Law, we understand and respect your wishes and want to ensure that we protect what you care about. That is why we work to assist our clients in creating a living trust as part of a comprehensive estate plan. We would love to help you to achieve your needs and wishes. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!


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Biddle Law is located in San Mateo and Belmont and services San Mateo County including San Carlos, Burlingame and Foster City.



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