• How to Set Up a Living Trust

How to Set Up a Living Trust

The process to set up a living trust in California is relatively straightforward and most people can do it themselves without having to hire a lawyer.  A People’s Choice can help you set up a living trust for a fraction of what it would cost to work with an attorney.  You can contact us if you have any questions or would like help preparing these critical estate planning documents. With this purpose in mind, the following is an overview on how to set up a living trust for California residents.

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Get help to Set Up a Living Trust!

  • or call 1-800-747-2780

What is a Living Trust?

A living trust is a legal document that controls your specific assets during your lifetime and after you pass away. The trustor must appoint a trustee to manage the trust and transfer assets to beneficiaries. The assets held in trust pass outside of probate. This protects your estate and your assets from creditors. You can set up a living trust which may be revocable during your lifetime. You can also set up an irrevocable trust. An irrevocable trust cannot be modified once created.

How to set up a Living Trust

To set up a living trust, you will need to know how you want to distribute your estate when you pass away. In this regard, you will outline your estate plans in a Declaration of Trust. The Declaration of Trust will name the trustee and beneficiaries. The trust will explicitly describe the rules of the trust and provide instructions to the trustee on how to distribute the trust assets. It will also define the amount of authority the trustee has over the assets. The Declaration of Trust should also state whether the trust is or is not revocable.  Once you prepare the Declaration of Trust, have it notarized without delay and make sure you fund your Trust.

To make your trust effective, you must transfer all of your property into the name of the trust. This allows your representative to distribute your property according to the terms outlined in your trust.  You can transfer property into your trust by deed or using other necessary documents. For example, you can transfer real property into the trust with a Trust Transfer Deed. To transfer bank accounts, you need to go to the bank with your Certificate of Trust.

At this point, it would be a good idea to put the trust your living trust and other estate documents in a safe place. If you own real property, you will also need to record your Trust Transfer Deed with the county recorder. Finally, you may consider doing a bit of research before you set up a living trust. Don’t hesitate to contact the experienced and knowledgeable staff at A People’s Choice if you have any questions about the process.

Benefits of a Trust

A key advantage for you when you set up a living trust is avoiding the probate process.  Your estate will avoid property because the property identified in the trust can pass to beneficiaries without having to go through probate. This can save your loved one’s time and money in accessing your estate’s assets.

Contact us at 800-747-2780 for more information on how to set up a living trust in California.

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By |2018-07-11T11:13:31+00:00July 11th, 2018|Estate Planning|0 Comments

About the Author:

Sandra M. McCarthy, founder of A People’s Choice Inc., has worked exclusively in the legal field since 1976. She served as the 2004-2005 President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants). She obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career in the legal field, she has worked as a freelance paralegal, law office manager and paralegal studies teacher, and has co-authored numerous legal publications and written hundreds of self-help legal articles. As a registered Legal Document Assistant, Sandy is dedicated to providing affordable, low-cost, self-help document preparation services for California consumers in all 58 counties.

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