It is an uncomfortable thought, but any of us could become incapacitated or die, unexpectedly. If you have property or assets to pass on to certain persons or charities, a living trust can be the perfect tool to control your estate. There are three main benefits of a living trust:
First, the assets in the trust will not be part of your probate estate when you die. Probate Court assures the validity of a will and monitors the distribution of the estate. It is expensive and can take several weeks to many months. Property in a trust will pass to the beneficiaries upon death without court supervision.
Second, you can control the assets until you die or become incapacitated. You can name yourself as trustee, and name a successor trustee who would manage the trust upon your death or incapacity. A living trust can be managed, amended and even terminated when you want. Although it does not have the tax advantages of an irrevocable trust, you have control in a revocable trust. A living trust often can avoid conservatorship in the event of disability or incapacity, especially when coupled with an estate plan with appropriate powers of attorney.
Third, neither the creation nor management nor distribution at death are public information. While probate serves an important purpose, your property and estate are your business. A living trust provides privacy that a will does not. Contact me to discuss your unique situation.
There are disadvantages to a living trust; for example, assets may be subject to the estate tax.
By completing these two document before your consultation, it will give me a better idea of what your estate planning needs are and will help me tailor your estate plan to suit your needs.
If you are considering establishing a financial estate preservation plan, or if you are an administrator seeking help with Sonoma County probate, contact me online or by phone at 707-527-9900 to schedule a meeting. Successful outcomes start with the right choices about your future. My rates are reasonable, either hourly or by flat-fee, and I accept Visa, Master Card, Discover, and American Express.