A revocable living trust protects your privacy, avoids probate, and determines who will handle your affairs while you’re incapacitated and after you’ve passed away. It’s essential element for estate plans as it provides an extra layer of protection to your estate and gives you the peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out. Here are some things an Orange County estate lawyer will ask you to consider when making a revocable living trust:
Get Clear on Your Goals and Desires
There are many estate planning goals that a revocable living trust can help you achieve. If privacy is a main concern, then a revocable living trust will keep your affairs out of court and ultimately the public record. It will also help your family move quickly through the estate settlement process, which can otherwise take months or years. Decide what your priorities are so that your attorney can draft a trust that best meets your unique needs.
Choose the Assets That Will Go Into Your Trust
This process is called “funding” and it looks a little different for everyone, depending on the assets you own. Most people put their house in a revocable living trust, but they may include different financial accounts as well. Solely-held savings and checking accounts are often put into revocable living trusts so they won’t have to go through probate, and trusts are sometimes named as beneficiaries of retirement accounts and insurance policies to ensure a smoother transition if there are minor children or loved ones with special needs involved.
Pick Your Successor Trustee
A successor trustee is responsible for handling your affairs if you ever become incapacitated, as well as the administration of your estate once you pass on. The successor trustee may also manage property or assets left to minors in your trust. It is important to carefully choose a person (or even a professional trust company) who will best carry out your wishes.
Choose Your Beneficiaries
It’s your decision as to whom you want to leave a financial legacy for in your revocable living trust. If you choose to leave out a family member who expects to receive an inheritance from you, you may want to leave behind a letter that provides an explanation of your wishes, or better yet, discuss your decision with them before you pass away.
Find an Experienced Orange county Trust Attorney to Draft Your Revocable Living Trust
DIY trusts and cheap alternatives are often inadequate and do not hold up under court scrutiny. That’s why it’s important to find an experienced trust attorney to draft your trust. You’ll have the peace of mind knowing that it’s done correctly, and your wishes will be carried out.
If you have any questions about setting up a living trust, or if you’d like to have your existing living trust reviewed in order to make sure it is set up properly for your situation, please contact us at (949) 260-1400 to schedule an appointment.