Death and disability are two topics very few people want to talk about in detail. Despite how uncomfortable these topics may be, it’s vital you establish an estate plan ahead of time to ensure your loved ones are taken care of in the event of your death or incapacitation. There are many tools you can utilize to create a comprehensive estate plan including setting up a revocable living trust.
With an established revocable living trust, you can rest assured your legacy will be preserved after death. Any assets placed within the trust will be transferred to your designated beneficiaries upon your death without the need to visit probate court. Plus, another benefit of the trust is that in the event of your incapacity your trust assets can still be managed by your successor trustee. What sets a revocable living trust apart is that you can modify or cancel the provisions at any time unlike an irrevocable trust.
To learn more about revocable trusts and what’s included in a comprehensive revocable living trust estate plan, contact the attorneys at Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd..
Revocable Living Trust Lawyer, Ventura CA
The attorneys at Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd. are skilled in all aspects of California estate planning including the establishment of revocable living trusts. Both Christ Botti and Paul Morison have assisted thousands of individuals and families create effective, customized and comprehensive estate plans tailor made to fit their needs.
We understand how daunting and overwhelming the estate planning process can be if you’re unfamiliar with how it works. That is why we want to serve as your guide and navigate you through this process, so your family is guaranteed to face minimal cost and stress in the event of your death. Get started today by calling our offices at (877) 585-1885 to set up your first consultation. We have offices in Ventura, Bakersfield, Valencia, Westlake Village, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo, California.
- What is a Revocable Living Trust in California?
- What Are the Advantages of a Revocable Living Trust?
- What is a Joint Revocable Trust?
- What’s Included in a Comprehensive Revocable Living Trust Estate Plan?
- Additional Resources
What is a Revocable Living Trust in California?
At the most basic level, a revocable living trust is a legal document that dictates how your assets will be distributed in the event of your death. The trust is created during your lifetime and any assets placed in the trust are automatically transferred to the listed beneficiaries upon death. One of the main reasons a revocable living trust is useful is you can modify or cancel any of the trust’s provisions while you’re alive.
The person who handles administration of the trust once the trustor passes is known as the successor trustee. They will ensure all financial and legal obligations the estate must meet are completed while keeping the beneficiary’s best interests in mind. Having a comprehensive estate plan set forth for your successor trustee will ensure your legacy is preserved and your wealth is distributed according to your wishes.
What Are the Advantages of a Revocable Living Trust?
Many people are under the common misconception that trusts are solely reserved for the supremely wealthy or famous. Although setting up a revocable living trust can be expensive, there are many benefits to establishing one in California. The following are some advantages of including a revocable living trust in your comprehensive estate plan.
- With a living trust, you can avoid probate court and the stress that comes with it
- If you become incompetent or incapacitated, you won’t have a need for a conservatorship (which can be expensive in itself).
- Potential tax savings
- The trust can continue for the benefit of your
- Loved ones
- Minor children
- Elderly dependent parents
- Adult children with drug/alcohol issues
- Adult children with mental, physical, educational special needs or are considered to be developmentally disadvantaged on SSI.
What is a Joint Revocable Trust?
A joint revocable trust establishes that two people hold title to certain assets, most of which are typically owned together as a married couple. Each spouse will maintain full control of the trust assets and can change the trust at any time while they are both alive and competent. In the event one spouse becomes incapacitated, the other will then assume control over the trust assets. If both spouses become incapacitated or pass, then a successor trustee will step in.
Many married couples utilize joint revocable living trusts as a tool to ensure their estate plan is practical and cost-efficient. It allows both spouses to enjoy the benefits of a revocable trust without having the cost of setting up two trusts at once.
Joint trusts usually work bests for couples with the following circumstances:
- Those with a long, stable relationship where divorce is not a thought or concern
- Couples with no children from previous relationships
- Couples without creditor issues or high-risk occupations that could expose trust assets to the liability of another spouse
- Couples in agreement on how assets should be disbursed when both have passed
- The value of the couple’s assets is less than the federal estate tax exemption amount
What’s Included in a Comprehensive Revocable Living Trust Estate Plan?
- Declaration of Trust – Legal document utilized to create a new trust or to confirm the terms of an existing trust. Outlines the beneficiaries, trustees, and all the terms and provisions of the trust agreement.
- Certificate of Trust Authority – Document utilized by an acting trustee as proof to financial institutions and other third parties they have authority to act on behalf of the trust. Often used in lieu of the full trust terms and provisions in order to keep nonessential information about the trust confidential.
- Wills – You might not think you need a will because you have a trust established, but many would advise you to have an active will. That way it can serve as a safety net to “pour” assets into the trust in case the deceased forgot to add the asset to the trust.
- Advance Health Care Directives – This document is to clearly state your wishes regarding life-prolonging medical treatments such as life support. The document ensures your health care decisions are made before hand and allows your loved ones to avoid the frustration of pursuing conservatorship.
- Community Property Agreement – A contract between married couples that specify how they want their property to be classified. The document will list out what the couple wishes to be labeled as separate property or community property.
- Grant Deed(s) – A written instrument used in California to ensure to a buyer that they will bear no responsibility of any unforeseen future claims or encumbrances that may be charged against the property.
- Comprehensive Transfer Document – Essentially an insurance policy for your plan, this document allows you to transfer an account you may have mistakenly forgotten from your newly created trust. With this filed, you can file a Heggstead Petition with the court and transfer the outside account without a beneficiary named to the established trust.
- Estate Organizer & Detailed Instructions
California Trust Law – Visit the official website for California Legislative Information to learn more about their rules and procedures regarding trusts. Access the site to learn more about revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, testamentary trusts, and other important information.
Beware Living Trust Mills – Visit the official website for the California Attorney General Rob Bonta to learn more about the dangers surrounding trust mills. These are people who will go out of their way to sell an unnecessary living trust or use your financial information to sell products less secure than your investments. To learn more about living trust mills, visit the site linked for some common tips on how to spot them and frequent traps they use.
Comprehensive Estate Planning Attorneys, Ventura County
Whether you’re brand new to estate planning, need to modify an existing trust/will, or wish to ensure your documents are up-to-date and targeting your needs, contact the attorneys at Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd.. We offer customizable, comprehensive revocable living trust estate plans to our clients designed to protect your assets and familial wealth. Preserve your legacy with confidence today by calling the lawyers at Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd..
Chris Botti and Paul Morison have 60 years of combined experience assisting individuals and families with their estate plans. Call today at (877) 585-1885 to set up your first consultation free of charge. We happily serve residents all over California including Ventura County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, Los Angeles County, and Kern County.