What Is a Living Trust?

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A living trust is defined as being a legal document, or trust, that is created during a person’s lifetime (trustor) where a designated person (trustee) is given responsibility for managing the trustor’s assets for the benefit of eventually becoming beneficiary. 

A living trust has been designed to allow for a seamless transfer of the trustor’s assets while bypassing the complex and expensive legal process of probate.

Unlike a will, a living trust is in effect while the settlor is alive. The trust doesn’t have to go to the courts to reach its intended beneficiaries when the settlor dies or becomes incapacitated. 

One of the main benefits of a living trust is that the property that’s held inside the living trust doesn’t go through probate. This is particularly important if you live in a state like California. California’s probate laws can be lengthy and expensive. Having a living trust can save your estate money

Another benefit for choosing a living trust is that your trustee will be able to step in to administer the assets that are in the living trust if you are incapacitated or unable to deal with the assets yourself. 

For example, if you were in an accident that leaves you unable to manage your assets in your estate then the terms of your living trust allow for your trustee to take over without having to get authority from the courts. 

A living trust means that your affairs are private. Because you won’t have to go through the probate process which is an open process and part of public record you can keep your privacy. This means that people can’t search the public record to find out what assets you owned at the time of your death and how they were divided amongst your beneficiaries

One major disadvantage of a living trust is that the cost can be high. A trust might not be the best course of action for your estate planning, but you’ll never know until you speak with a lawyer who can guide you in the right direction when it comes to your assets and the future of your assets. This is the future of everything that you’ve worked hard for, so it’s important to make a plan for your assets.

Working with a professional like a trust lawyer from a law firm like Yee Law Group, P.C. could help you better understand trusts and assist you with any questions you might have about estate planning.