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Living Trusts

Probate is the legal process of validating a will, appointing an executor or personal representative to manage the affairs of your estate, paying all debts and taxes, and distributing the balance of your estate to your heirs. When you create a living trust, you allow for your heirs to transfer your property to them quickly and easily, without the hassle and delays associated with probate. A living trust helps your heirs keep more of their inheritance because it doesn’t get used for expensive probate proceedings and attorney's fees.

Benefits of a Living Trust

Some major benefits of establishing a living trust are:

  • assets are transferred to your beneficiaries outside of the probate process.

  • If married, you and your spouse can use a living trust to handle your community property as well as your separate property.

  • while living, you are the “trustee” of your living trust.

  • a living trust is “revocable” and can be easily amended or revoked at any time.

We recommend that when you create a living trust that you also create a “pour-over will." This ensures that any property not transferred into your living trust still is transferred to your heirs or organizations that you wish to leave it to. If you do not make a will, any property not transferred to the living trust will be disposed of according to California’s intestate succession laws. Meaning, it will be transferred to your spouse, children, parents and siblings in that order.

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