When choosing what estate plan is best for you, one of the things you should consider is a living trust. A living trust, also commonly known as a revocable trust, is a form of estate planning in which assets you choose are placed within a trust for your own benefit throughout your lifetime. At the time of your death, the assets that remain in your living trust are then disbursed to the beneficiaries you have chosen, through a representative that you select.
For your California estate planning needs, contact our attorneys at Galanti and Copenhaver. With many years of experience, we can help you plan a living trust to protect your estate. As our client, we will be available to you to discuss any concerns or questions you have about planning your estate, and we are happy to help you decide what is best for your needs.
Why Should You Choose a Living Trust?
There are many benefits for selecting a living trust as part of your estate planning. One of the top benefits associated with a living trust is the fact that as long as you are alive and mentally competent, you can alter, change or revoke the living trust at any time. Another major benefit to creating a living trust is that by doing so, you can avoid putting your trust beneficiaries through a legally complicated probate process. Going through probate can be both emotionally and financially draining, so choosing a living trust will make the division of your assets easier on your beneficiaries.
Additionally, creating a living trust gives you more privacy over your financial decisions regarding your assets and the beneficiaries you have chosen. If your estate goes through the probate process, private financial information may become public. Publicizing your finances may cause family rifts by beneficiaries that feel they were entitled to more; and by avoiding probate, you can save your chosen beneficiaries from having to deal with family drama at a very difficult time in their lives after losing a loved one.
Other Benefits Of Including a Living Trust in Your Estate Plan
Another significant benefit to forming a living trust is that you can save a lot of money by doing so, particularly for those with significant assets. Living trusts can be complicated, so the up-front cost to hiring an attorney to draft a living will for you will be more money than the cost of a simple will, but in the long run, a living trust may benefit you and your beneficiaries substantially more. By using a living trust, you allow your beneficiaries to avoid probate, which saves costs from being taken out of your estate.
Additionally, married couples may financially benefit by creating a joint living trust together. Generally, it is a good idea to create a living trust if you have a very large estate. If your estate is very small with minimal assets, you may not financially benefit from having a living trust. A trusted attorney can help you evaluate your assets and assist you in determining what estate planning option is best for your needs.
Protecting Yourself with a Living Trust
Another benefit to incorporating a living trust into your estate plan is that by doing so, you protect yourself in the event that you become mentally incapacitated or otherwise unable to manage your own assets. With a living trust, you have already chosen a representative who will step into your shoes to manage your assets in the event that happens. This can save a lot of trouble and money for your loved ones who may not be aware of what your wishes would be in that situation. With a living trust, it will all be spelled out for them and make things easier on your loved ones during what is sure to be a difficult time for them.
If you have a simple will rather than a living trust, the court will be required to appoint someone to handle your assets and finances. This person will have to obtain court approval for any expenses to come out of the estate, as well as any sales of property or any change requested to any of your assets. With a living trust, you avoid having a court appoint someone to make these decisions, as you will already have chosen someone you trust to handle these issues.
There are many different estate planning methods you can use to protect your assets and prepare your estate for the future for yourself and for your beneficiaries. By hiring an attorney experienced in the area of estate planning, you can get started with creating the estate plan that best suits your needs. Contact our attorneys at Galanti and Copenhaver today to schedule a consultation to discuss your estate planning needs. You can contact our office through email, or by calling us at 707-538-4711.