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Living trusts – the basics

Living trusts – the basics

A living trust is a legal document that you create with the help of an estate planning attorney. Similar to a will, a living trust specifies precisely what your wishes are regarding your assets, dependents, and heirs. Earlier we wrote about What Is Living Trust? However, unlike a will, enables your successor trustee – whose duties are comparable to those of a will’s executor – to carry out your instructions after your death or if you’re unable to handle your affairs due to incapacity. If you want to create a living trust as an alternative to creating a will, or if you simply need more details to determine if a living trust is right for you, speak at once with an experienced Orange County estate planning attorney.

A living trust is probably right for you if you have substantial assets, children from several marriages, closely-held business interests, or extensive real estate holdings. By working with an experienced estate planning lawyer to create a living trust, you can be certain that your directions and wishes will be carried out precisely as you’ve instructed. The two types of living trusts are:

  • Revocable living trusts: When you create a revocable living trust, you transfer your assets into the ownership of the trust, you retain control of those assets, and you can invalidate or amend the trust at any time. Assets in the trust pass directly to your beneficiaries without probate. Understand, however, that revocable living trusts do not reduce estate taxes.
  • Irrevocable living trusts: An irrevocable trust lets you give away assets as you please and while you’re alive. Assets that you give away are no longer part of your estate and thus are not subject to estate taxes. An irrevocable trust is appropriate in only the rarest situations, but a good estate planning attorney will recommend it if it’s right for you.

It’s never too soon to think about a will or a living trust. Tomorrow is guaranteed for no one. To create a living trust or to learn more about living trusts and your other estate planning options, arrange as soon as possible to consult with an experienced Orange County estate planning attorney.