Living Trust Attorney in Walnut Creek
Serving Individuals across Mountain View & the Bay Area
The core of most estate plans is what is colloquially referred to as a “living trust.” In attorney speak, this estate planning tool is known as a “revocable inter vivos (during life) trust.” A correctly implemented trust can serve as a powerful asset to any estate plan. But what is a living trust, and why is it important to have a living trust in the Bay Area?
What Is a Living Trust?
A revocable living trust is, at its core, a contract. It is a contract that creates a quasi-entity that becomes a legal entity when the creator of the trust passes away.
This type of trust is called a “living” trust because it is created by someone while they are alive. It is also called “revocable” because the creator (also known as the “settlor”) retains the right to revoke it at any time as long as they are alive and mentally competent.
Due to this revocability feature, this trust is not a legal entity distinct from the creator until they die (rendering the trust now “irrevocable”). When the settlor dies, the trust now has its own tax identification number, and a named successor trustee takes over management of the trust to carry out the purpose described in the trust, a process called trust administration. This usually means the trustee will gather and distribute the assets in a timely fashion to named beneficiaries.
Why Create a Living Trust?
So why do we need to put our property into a living trust? Why not just state our wishes for the distribution of our personal or real estate property in a will?
Unlike a will, a living trust can help mitigate the impact of probate on an estate. When we set up a trust to hold our assets, our heirs do not have to go through the mind-bending and expensive judicial California probate process.
Probate is the court administration of a person’s estate after they pass away. This process is triggered if a person dies with more than $150,000 outside of a trust, regardless of if they have a will or not. It is a very costly and lengthy process, not to mention confusing and on the public record.
By setting up a living trust and naming a successor trustee, we can choose an individual to administer our estate in lieu of Northern California probate court. By doing this, we save vast amounts of time, money, and frustration for our heirs while keeping our affairs private. A well-drafted trust can be more cost effective overall for our heirs.
It is highly advisable to draft your trust documents with the help of an experienced lawyer for probate and trusts. You can rely on our skilled trust and estate planning attorneys serving Walnut Creek to help you navigate through each step of the legal proceedings.
Don’t Know How to Proceed?
That’s why the Law Offices of Daniel L. DuRee is here. We offer a variety of estate law practice areas, focusing our efforts in living trusts. We work with clients throughout the entire Bay Area.
If you need help setting up a living trust, particularly if you have a unique situation or are overwhelmed by a complex or large estate in the Bay Area, we can help you sort out any questions. Our living trust lawyers serving Walnut Creek, CA can also assist you with amending an existing trust.
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“I would definitely go back to Daniel for estate planning needs and will recommend him to others in the future.”- Bryan P.