When you hear about trusts in the context of estate planning, you probably think about trust fund babies and about sums of money that are so big that they cannot logically belong to individuals, much less to young people. That is only a small part of the picture, though. Revocable trusts, also known as living trusts, can also offer many benefits to the 99%. If the value of your property is high enough that you do not qualify for any of the California simplified probate alternatives, then you could probably save your family members a lot of money by setting up a revocable trust. The good news is that revocable trusts in California do not have to be expensive to set up! You can save yourself a lot of money by having a California non-attorney legal document assistant prepare your revocable trust documents, instead of an estate planning lawyer.
Benefits of Living Trusts in California
The greatest benefit of a revocable trust is that the assets in the trust do not go through probate. This means that creditors cannot claim money from the trust when your estate goes to probate, like they can with most of your assets. Instead, they go straight to the beneficiaries listed in the trust document. Because the assets in the trust do not go through probate, it also means that the beneficiaries do not have to pay estate taxes on them. Another benefit of a revocable trust is that the beneficiaries can begin receiving money from it while you are alive, which means that you can see your children and grandchildren enjoying the money you have saved for them.
A revocable trust is the same thing as a living trust, but it is not the same thing as a living will. A living will is a statement of your wishes about end-of-life medical care. It can also save your family lots of money and stress, but it is unrelated to a living trust, which is about property.
Revocable Living Trust During a Divorce
Divorce throws people’s estate plans into disarray. You should update your estate plan when you get divorced, but not everyone does; this often leads to bitter disputes during probate. If you are married when you establish the trust, or if you and your spouse set up the revocable trust together, you should include provisions in the trust document that determines what will happen to the assets in the trust if you divorce. If not, your divorce case could become much more complicated and costly. Remember that California is a community property state, so marital property, including property in a revocable trust set up by both spouses during the marriage, gets divided evenly in half.
You Can Establish and Modify a Revocable Trust in California Without a Lawyer
Everyone needs an estate plan, but not everyone needs an estate planning lawyer. A registered legal document assistant can professionally prepare your estate planning documents much more affordably than lawyers do. Contact A People’s Choice to have a professional legal document assistant prepare your revocable trust documents. Call us today at 800-747-2780.
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