Having a shorter timeline for the transfer of assets is one of the most common reasons that a person will hire a California estate planning lawyer to create a trust. When a person passes away, things they own, such as a home or a vehicle, could spend years tied up in probate.
Probate is expensive, can be frustrating for family members who want to move on, and might not even be settled for years after a person has passed away. It can be emotionally difficult to move through this process and can even cause family conflict.
A living trust is another way to transfer assets that you want your beneficiaries to receive without the need for probate. The successor trustee will take over when needed, which occurs when the original trustee, the creator of the trust, passes away. Real estate and property transfers can be closed in just a few months as opposed to a year or longer that probate takes. Another major benefit of a living trust is that it allows you to make changes to it during the time that you are still alive.
The support of an experienced estate planning lawyer can give you clarity about how a living trust can be used to achieve your personal goals but also make things easier for your family members in the future.
While a trust is not part of your probated estate, it can speed up the probate process for your loved ones in the sense that there will be fewer assets in the overall estate. This means the trustee for the trust can get those assets intended for your loved ones into their hands more quickly while probate might take more time.
A dedicated lawyer who has extensive experience crafting living trusts can give you insight into how the amendment process works and how to leverage a living trust to achieve your individual estate planning goals.