The major reasons for creating a living trust are to distribute assets according to your wishes and in time effective and cost-effective manner and to avoid probate. This means thinking carefully about which assets you will title inside the living trust. Some of the most common assets to be titled into a living trust include investment in bank accounts outside of your day to day checking and real property.
Administering an estate that is owned mostly inside of a decedent’s living trust is less frustrating, time consuming and expensive than administering the same estate inside probate. Remember that some assets should and must remain outside of the living trust. Retirement accounts are a great example because these are not transferrable into a trust while the account holder is alive. These assets pass instead according to death beneficiary designation forms.
A living trust might be the right tool for you, but usually works best when you need the flexibility afforded by remaining as the grantor and trustee during your lifetime. Talk to a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer about other circumstances in which living trusts can supplement your estate plan.
A participant can name their spouse as the primary death beneficiary as well as children as alternative death beneficiaries. For more information about creating a customized estate plan, schedule a time to speak with an experienced and dedicated lawyer. At our Pasadena law firm, we work with you personally to create an estate plan that aligns with your needs and goals.