How do you decide if you need to set up a trust?
A will and a trust are two different estate planning tools.
Your will acts as a high-level set of instructions to be used after you pass away. A will is where you name the executor of your estate and guardians for your children. Although you can leave assets to your heirs in a will, it’s much more efficient to create a revocable living trust.
Using a revocable living trust instead of a will means assets owned by your trust will bypass probate and flow to your heirs as you’ve defined in the trust documents. Many people assume that Revocable Living Trusts are just for wealthy people, but the benefits that they can offer to someone with even minimal assets are significant. Trusts are also great for minimizing estate taxes or protecting your estate from lawsuits and creditors. Assets you want protected by the trust must be retitled in the name of the trust. Anything that is not titled to the trust when you die will have to go through probate.
What is Probate and how do you avoid it?
Probate is a legal process where certain assets that were owned in the individual’s name are distributed by the court. The court will use your will to help guide their decisions, but a will can be contested and there’s no guarantee your wishes will be followed. The probate process can be long and expensive, which is why many people prefer to avoid probate by setting up a revokable living trust.
C4 Legal Assistance has extensive experience assisting people with setting up their revocable living trusts and helping their heirs avoid probate. Call us today at 805-585-3828 for a free Estate Planning Consulation.