Frequently Asked Questions About California Revocable Living Trusts
To many people, California living revocable trusts may sound confusing, too technical, and overly complicated to be worth the bother. But, in truth, living revocable trusts are simple, and with a little practice, they are relatively "easy" to use. Further, if you want to avoid California probate proceedings post-death, a California revocable living trust is very much "worth the bother." In this article, the California Estate Planning attorneys at Guardian Litigation Group offer answers to some frequently asked questions about California revocable living trusts. For a consultation, call us at (800) 316-3133. We are located in Irvine, California.
What is a Trust?
Many people are familiar with the legal concept of corporations. Corporations are created by filing Articles of Incorporation with the California government. Upon filing, the corporation comes into existence and has the legal rights granted by California statutes. Those rights include many of the same rights held by natural persons. These include the rights to own property, file a lawsuit, defend a lawsuit, obtain permits and business licenses, etc. A corporation is run by its Board of Directors elected by its shareholders. The Board runs the corporation for the benefit of the shareholders. A trust is run by its Trustee (or Trustees) appointed by the maker of the trust. The Trustee runs the trust for the benefit of named beneficiaries.
What is a California Revocable Living Trust?
A California revocable living trust is a type of trust created through the execution of proper and legally valid trust documents. This type of trust is used to hold title and ownership of property (like a home) for purposes of estate planning. The maker of the trust is the person engaged in California Estate Planning. The Trustee is usually the same person, and the beneficiary is the same person.
How Does a California Revocable Living Trust Help With Estate Planning?
The estate planning aspect of a California revocable living trust is the careful and consistent placing of assets into the trust by the person who is the trust maker, trustee, and beneficiary of the trust. Very quickly, all assets of the natural person are transferred to the trust. This means that the person owns no assets. When that person dies, there are no assets that are subject to California's probate laws. Ownership of the assets in trust is distributed per the instructions set out in the trust documents.
Can I Use a California Revocable Living Trust to Leave Property and Assets to My Children?
Yes. In a manner of speaking, the trust documents can be seen as a type of Last Will and Testament. In a will, a person can leave assets to family members, friends, and not-for-profit organizations. The same can be done through the trust documents. Instead of having an executor handle post-death matters, the Trustee handles matters.
How Often Do I Need to Update My California Revocable Living Trust?
The trust documents should not need updating. However, care must be taken when new assets are purchased or obtained. Such should be transferred into the trust.
If I Use a California Revocable Living Trust, Will I Still Have "My Stuff?"
Yes. As noted, with a California revocable living trust, typically, you make yourself the Trustee. As the Trustee, you can decide how "your stuff" is used. Just as importantly, you are the beneficiary of the trust. Thus, it is more than appropriate that you -- the Trustee -- decide that you -- the beneficiary -- should have the use and benefit of "your stuff." Buying and selling assets is done almost like it is now. The main difference is how things are titled. If you buy a vehicle, it should be titled in the name of the trust rather than in your name personally.
Contact Our Experienced Irvine, CA Estate Planning Attorneys
For more information, contact the Irvine, California Estate Planning attorneys at Guardian Litigation Group. Our Mission is to provide unparalleled Estate Planning legal services for our clients. We can be reached via our contact page or by phone at (800) 316-3133. We are located in Irvine, California.