An estate is a person’s personal property, real estate, as well as other holdings. Whenever a person dies, their estate is divided as per the wishes left by the deceased individual or if no will or trust exists, the matter is handled by the probate court.
When it comes to estate planning, many people just assume that they have all the time in the world to create a trust or will. It is however never too early to start planning just where your property will end up after you are no longer in this world. In the state of California trust laws enable you to manage all your properties and provide a seamless transition when you die. Below is a summary of California Trust & Estate Planning laws.
Just like a will, a living trust is also a legal document that holds instructions of what you would like to happen to your property after your death. In case of death, a trust can avoid probate. Being a public process, probate takes at least a year to facilitate property distribution and can drain an individual’s estate with legal and court related fees. Most people and families nowadays prefer to avoid the probate process by creating a trust. Whenever an individual creates a living trust, their assets (bank accounts, stocks, home, etc.) are all moved to a trust that is administered by the owner for their own benefit during life (this means you retain total control over the property during your lifetime). The assets are automatically transferred to your named beneficiaries outside the probate process after your death.
A Trust & Estate Plan is an agreement which:
- Chooses a “successor trustee” who will manage your assets when you can no longer do it (you can become the initial trustee).
- Empowers the trustee to control and oversee the assets in your trust.
- Directs the trustee to manage all properties in your trust enabling you to enjoy it within your lifetime.
- Selects your beneficiaries (individuals or even charitable organizations) that will get the property from the trust in the event of your death.
- Gives some powers and authority, in addition to guidance, for the purpose of the trust distribution after death. The trust document also states that a trustee is a “fiduciary” who must be held at high standards, has to protect the trust property, and can never use it except for the benefit of the selected beneficiaries.
Without any need for probate, trust properties are distributed to beneficiaries relatively fast after you pass on. A California Trust & Estate Planning Lawyer enables you to streamline the process of distribution to ensure that your family and loved ones get the property that you have left quickly, which gives you peace of mind in the knowledge that the people you love will be well taken care of when you are no longer there.
It is necessary to have a will or trust if you are to control what happens to your assets after your death. Securing the services of a lawyer who is qualified in dealing with estate planning matters can make things easier. If you are looking to create an estate plan or even reviewing your current plan, an attorney will be in a position to help and advice you in the process.
If you are looking for a California Trust & Estate Planning Lawyer, please contact Patton Law Group for a free consultation.
For more information contact us.