Estate planning is one of those things in most people’s life that they have on their list to get do, but sometimes don’t. In California estate planning can be important to avoid the Probate Court Process when transferring assets. It allows people to specify their wishes as well as property distribution. Estate planning with a living trust is something you don’t typically need…until you do, but when you do need a living trust, and it’s too late, you’re likely leaving your loved ones a lengthy court process.
In comparison to having to deal with the probate court process that could take years, having a living trust completed can take as long as a week or two. Living trusts can be prepared for a flat fee while the probate court process will have filing fees, newspaper publication fees, bonds and attorney fees that start in the thousands and can easily land in the tens of thousands upon completion. Living trusts can be amended and updated when the trustee chooses to, and transferring property with a living trust can be done in days with a few documents being completed.
While a Living Trust can be one document prepared, traditionally for a single person or a married couple, the common estate planning package when referring to a Living Trust is a series of related documents. A living trust is an important document where the trustees (creators) can specify their beneficiaries and asset distribution as well as choose their successor-trustees to act in their inability. Real and personal property can be transferred into the living trust making it sometimes possible to avoid probate court. Further, a living trust can be updated and amended to reflect the current wishes of the trustees. While the above are all benefits to a living trust, there are some important estate planning related issues not covered by a living trust document.
Living trusts often come in packages so that they include other important documents to avoid probate and help ease the management of assets and decisions. While living trust packages include a series of documents, they are typically completed all together, signed and notarized and become effective right away. Common documents included in a living trust package would be Power of Attorneys for designating an agent to act if incapacitated, but still alive. This avoids a probate conservatorship. Advance Healthcare Directives (medical power of attorney), which can also avoid a conservatorship court process. Pour Over Wills are often included to capture any personal property not addressed in the Living Trust and allows for the nomination of a guardian for minor children. Most importantly a Trust Transfer deed which is what takes any real property and gives ownership of it to the living trust. While each of these documents serves its own unique function, together they make up what is commonly found in Living Trust Packages.
If you are looking for a professional and experience legal document assistant to help prepare your living trust package, we can help. We have been preparing living trust packages in Santa Maria for years and our number one goal is client’s satisfaction. We prepare a complete living trust package quickly for our clients. Our living trusts are also comparatively priced when you take it into count that we include notary and witnessing.