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Living Trust Attorney Ventura
Living Trust Lawyer Oxnard
What exactly is a living trust? In the simplest of terms, a living trust, much like a will, is an important legal document that designates who shall receive your property at the time of your passing. Unlike a will, however, a living trust gives you greater control, not only with regard to which beneficiaries shall receive what, but also the manner in which you have chosen. In this way, your estate is managed responsibly and without the necessity of going through the complicated and often expensive legal process known as probate. We all would like to think that our families would never fight amongst themselves with regard to the property you left behind, but unfortunately, that is not always the case. If you want to ensure the easy and efficient transfer of your assets, and save your loved ones the added grief of fighting amongst themselves after you are gone, a living trust is the tool by which to do so.
Understanding How A Living Trust Works
A living trust is created by you, the Trustor, and managed by what is known as the Trustee. Who shall be the Trustee is up to you, and it may be yourself or someone else. But perhaps more importantly, you will also designate a successor trustee who will take over upon your passing. Keep in mind, this person is responsible for managing and distributing your assets and will have a fiduciary duty that he must uphold, which is to say he/she must act in the best interest of all your beneficiaries. Therefore, this person should be someone you trust will act competently and ethically in administering your estate.
Elements of a Living Trust Document
There are a few key elements involved in the preparation of a living trust.
1. Choosing Trustees and Beneficiaries
As mentioned above, choosing who will be the beneficiaries, and who you want to act as Trustee is of vital importance. You should take some time to decide who shall get what and who will administer the distribution. Every individual that is a party to the Trust must be named within the trust document
With a revokable living trust, you may change these parties while you are alive, by amending the Trust; however, once you pass away, the trust becomes irrevocable and no further changes may be made. Optimally, however, you do not want to be changing the terms of the trust on a frequent basis if at all possible. For that reason, these decisions should not be taken lightly.
2. Determining What Assets You Have
You will need to list all of your assets that are to go into your living trust. For instance, you will want to list all of your real property, vehicles, business interests, bank and other financial accounts, just to name a few.
It is important to be thorough so as to ensure nothing is omitted from the trust. An omission could not only defeat your best intentions, but worse, the omitted asset, depending upon its value, might end up having to be put through probate, which as discussed above, is something you want to avoid.
3. Creation of the Trust Document
Once you have determined who is to be the Trustee, the beneficiaries, and the assets of the estate, it is time to draft your trust. Your living trust lawyer in Ventura will make sure that there are no mistakes with your trust documents. Once the documents are completed, you will review them, and having done so, the documents must then be signed and notarized.
4. Funding of the Trust
Almost done! The final step is what is known as funding the trust. Now that the trust is created, you will be transferring everything into the name of the trust. Your property still belongs to you, of course, and while you are alive you may do what you wish with it, but by changing how it is titled, it is held in trust for your beneficiaries until such time as you pass away, at which point it will be distributed to them according to the intentions you stated in your trust.
Can You Make Your Own Living Trust?
You are not required to have a Living Trust attorney draft your trust documents, but it is HIGHLY recommended. This is a document that can have enormous financial ramifications for both you and your loved ones, including tax issues, beneficiaries with special needs, etc. One of the main reasons for doing it in the first place is the peace of mind knowing that your loved ones are taken care of. Do it right! Your living trust attorney in Oxnard has the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process competently and efficiently.
Get in touch with us right away and find out how our expert and skilled attorneys can help you with your living trust documents today!