Living Trust Lawyer Orange CA
Living Trust Lawyer Orange, CA can help you finally figure out how you can best prepare for your future – and how you can provide the best tomorrow possible for your family and friends. Wills and trusts are a significant part of planning your estate. When you get in contact with a qualified living trust attorney from Holborn Law, you’re getting more than legal advice: You’re getting a helpful guide that can walk you through the numerous hoops and headaches that come with dividing your estate.
But how can you tell what’s better for your situation when you have to decide between wills and trusts? What is the difference, and how can they affect how your family and friends process your estate after your death? Read on to learn a little more about the key differences between wills and trusts and understand which would be best for you.
UNDERSTANDING WILLS AND LIVING TRUSTS
Wills and living trusts are both designed to help you divide your assets across your beneficiaries. Still, despite their similarities, they both lead to entirely different processes through which your family and friends will have to navigate. Fortunately, a living trust lawyer in Orange, CA, can help you better understand these processes and what each means for the future of your estate.
A will is a list of assets and beneficiaries that is opened upon your death. The contents of a will can be divided across any number of named individuals – this extends to family and friends and anyone else to whom you’d want to bequeath assets. While wills are relatively simple to create (and require minimal management throughout your lifetime), they tend to cause more challenges for your beneficiaries.
The main con to a will is probate. Probate is the process through which the contents of a will are given to your beneficiaries, and more often than not, it’s a lengthy and frustrating ordeal for everyone involved. Probate is also relatively expensive: One of the main steps of probate consists in tracking down all of your assets and assigning a value to each asset, which usually requires the input of an independent assessor. There are also court fees and the potential to dispute your choice of executor (the person you name in the will to handle the probate process).
Unlike a will, a living trust cuts out much of the potential for fighting. With a living trust (called a living trust because you’ll have to manage the trust while you’re still alive), you’re naming a third party to handle your estate after you die. You’ll have to maintain the trust and keep it updated as the assets in possession of the trust change over time, but by creating a living trust, you prevent your family and friends from dealing with probate.
A living trust also can’t be contested, making it a much more streamlined option for those looking to plan out their estate. Living trusts seem like a desirable alternative to just leaving behind a will, but you should remember that living trusts require close management. Trust administration (the process through which the assets in your trust are divided across your beneficiaries) can be a complicated affair: You’ll need to make sure you can rely on the third party you choose to manage your trust.
TIPS FOR MANAGING YOUR LIVING TRUST
Even when enlisting the services of a living trust lawyer in Orange, CA, managing a trust can still be an extensive process. However, a few tips/strategies can make the process easier.
Have co-trustees: This strategy is often recommended when a trust has huge assets where oversights or other issues can quickly happen. While a co-trustee doesn’t have to have the same range of power as you do, they can still handle responsibilities such as being able to veto fees and make certain investment decisions.
Have a protector: A protector is different than a co-trustee as they have more limited power but can look over the trustee’s work and decisions and voice any issues or concerns. While a protector usually isn’t necessary if you already have co-trustees or are working with a living trust lawyer, it’s still something worth considering.
Limiting fees: Most standard trust agreements have a clause that a trustee or trust company can change its rates. To mitigate this, you can have limited fees in your trust agreement. Of course, not every trustee will accept this, or they might try to negotiate a higher fee range.
Having a clause for mediation: Especially if your situation calls for multiple co-trustees, having a clause that stipulates mediation whenever in-fighting occurs. Having mediation or arbitration is usually faster and cheaper than litigation.
DESIGNATING A TRUSTEE
Trusts take out a lot of work for your beneficiaries when it comes to acquiring the benefits. When adequately managed, trusts may not require as much management after your death or disability. However, it’s still a smart idea to include a clause in your trust that either directly appoints a substitute trustee or a method in choosing the new trustee. Doing so will ensure that your estate/assets are properly managed following your passing away.
You can also write a detailed letter for your trustee to follow with specific instructions or directions. While it might not cover everything, a detailed letter can help point your future trustee in the right direction.
HOW TO DESIGNATE A TRUSTEE?
Designating a trustee shouldn’t be considered a simple choice to be made overnight, even if you plan to manage most of your trust during your lifetime. When choosing someone to manage their living trust, people will often designate an immediate family member such as their spouse or one of their children. While there may not be anything wrong with this on paper, sometimes it’s not recommended. When designating a trustee, it’s crucial to pick someone with the capable skills of handling the job and having the passion and time commitment. While this could mean an immediate family member (even one of the beneficiaries), it could also mean nominating a more neutral party and enlisting the help of a living trust lawyer in Orange, CA.
CONTACT HOLBORN LAW TODAY
Wills, living trusts, and estate planning, in general, are all critical steps to ensuring your family and friends are cared for after your death. You can make the division of your assets complicated or simple – the choice is yours, and with the help of a capable living trust lawyer in Orange, CA, you can make the right decision.
Advantages to Developing a Revocable Living Trust
While many are aware of why estate plans are necessary, it can be challenging to know where to start, which is why many turn to a living trust lawyer in Orange, CA, for help. One such tool the professionals of Holborn Law may recommend to testators is a revocable living trust. It’s a common misconception that a living trust is something only the wealthy should consider. A revocable living trust is a popular strategy used by those looking to control their assets while still living. Living trusts can also protect assets from probate and minimize taxes when the time comes for these assets to be passed on to beneficiaries. With the assistance of a lawyer, developing a revocable living trust is relatively straightforward, one that offers several advantages, including:
Protect Beneficiaries from Themselves
Once top concern testators have is whether those who stand to inherit assets are responsible enough to manage the wealth they have inherited. There are many reasons for this to be cause for concern, but it is common when an heir is either too young or has not historically been responsible with their finances. The testator can develop several trusts to protect the assets left to beneficiaries. For example, asset distributions can be made based upon incentives (graduating from college, maintaining a certain GPA), age-based (when a person reaches a certain age), spendthrift (pays for a person’s living based upon your direction).
Reduce Assets That Pass Through Probate
A living trust lawyer in Orange, CA, often has clients looking to avoid probate, and rightfully so. Many people dread probate because it can be costly, time-consuming, and lack privacy. When you put assets into a living trust, it may be possible to circumvent the number of assets that must go through probate. Additionally, when assets do not have to endure probate, heirs may access them in a more timely manner.
Typically, people are relatively private about their wealth, the money they make, and the value of their possessions. However, when a person passes away, and the will enters into probate, the estate’s value becomes public domain meaning, anyone can access this information. When assets are put into a trust, they are kept out of probate, keeping them private from the general public.
Revocable Living Trusts Are Flexible
Another advantage to a revocable trust is that the grantor can change it at any time. As situations change- the grantor can change the trust to reflect them.
Developing an estate plan ensures that families have a clear path of making decisions for a person’s care and how assets will be distributed when the time comes. An estate plan is made up of several documents, and a revocable living trust is just one tool people may have access to. Holborn Law will take the time to understand your wishes and offer strategies that may be appropriate based upon the specifics of your situation. If you need an estate plan or are considering whether a trust is right for you, contact our Orange, California, living trust lawyer.