Living trusts are generally preferred when you own real property, or if you have a large estate. If you simply have a will, your real property will still need to be transferred out of your name on death. Naming a beneficiary in a will advises the court who you want to have receive the real property, but you will still have to go through probate or a probate procedure in order to effect that transfer of ownership. Almost anyone who owns real property should have a living trust.
When you create a living trust, you transfer any real property you want the trust to control into the trust. While you are alive, you control and manage the living trust. This means that you have the ability to change the trust to suit your wishes at any time, and you retain control over the assets controlled by the trust as long as the trust exists.
At The Werner Law Firm, our living trust attorneys can help you to navigate the waters toward creating a living trust to protect your assets. After creating a living trust, you can:
To sell property owned by a trust, you can simply sign documents as trustee of the trust. As long as you are the trustee, you will maintain control over any and all property owned by the trust – and can determine who will succeed you as trustee. In this way, a trust allows you to retain control of your property and effectively distribute your assets to your inheritors.
When creating a trust, you name a successor trustee. That individual will take control of the trust and trust property when you pass away, allowing them to sell and manage trust property without having to go through probate or any court process. In trust administration they are responsible, of course, to manage and distribute the trust according to your wishes as set forth in the trust.
With a living trust, you also have a lot more freedom to control your property after you pass away. For example, if you have minor children, you can set up the trust so that they receive property when they reach a certain age, or even have multiple distributions when they reach certain ages. Instead of receiving assets outright at age 18, a trust can call that they would receive 1/3 of their share at age 22, 1/3 at age 25, and 1/3 at age 30.
Probate cases can be expensive and can generally take about a year to complete. In probate cases, statutory probate fees are based off of the gross value of the estate:
That means that if the estate is worth $400,000, the statutory fees you would pay would be $9,000. Filing fees and miscellaneous costs (publication in a legal newspaper, etc.) would bring the total probate fees and costs up to around $11,000. When considering the amount of money and time that loved ones would have to put into a probate case, a living trust is a much preferred and easier alternative.
Our estate planning professionals will explain the legal process in creating these documents, determine what would be most beneficial to you, and figure out a game plan moving forward. Call us today to book a free appointment and for information on hiring us as your trusted living trust attorney.
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Newport Beach, California 92660