Putting together a will directs the courts and your appointed executor as to what happens to your assets when you pass away as well as naming a guardian for any minor children. However, using a will means that the matters of your estate could become a source of public record after you pass away.
There are many different reasons why you might want to add a layer of privacy to your estate plan instead. One way to do this is by using a revocable living trust which is a private contract between the trustee and you as the trust maker for the benefit of yourself as the beneficiary.
You have ability to control this trust while you are still alive, determining how to invest the funds inside or how to spend it on behalf of yourself. If you become mentally incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself, then the individual named as your disability trustee steps over to handle the spending and investment decisions.
The administrative trustee is the person who takes over after you pass away. They are responsible for paying your final bills out of the trust property and then distributing any remaining property to beneficiaries named in that trust agreement. All of your wishes associated with a revocable living trust are private. This is because all three phases of the trust mentioned above can be carried out without having to file that trust or share personal information with the local probate court. For more information about using a revocable living trust as part of your estate plan, schedule a consultation with a Pasadena, CA estate planner.