A Living Trust is the legal document that outlines the way in which your assets will pass on to your loved ones when you die. When you prepare your Living Trust, you will identify your beneficiaries as well as the person who will carry out your wishes, your successor trustee.
Funding and updating your Trust
Once you have created your Trust, you then must fund it, or transfer your assets into it, including deeds to real property, savings accounts, life insurance, brokerage accounts, etc. A Trust is a living document, and it should be updated with important life events—a new spouse, a significant new investment, property or job, or if you want to change or add beneficiaries.
There are many benefits to getting a Living Trust:
- Quick and easy transfer of property to your loved ones when you die.
- Uninterrupted management of the estate should you and your spouse become incapacitated.
- Avoiding the long, arduous and expensive process of probate.
To also keep in mind: Trusts are private documents. If you die without a Living Trust, your estate goes into Probate and becomes a matter of public record. A Revocable Living Trust can be revoked or amended at any time during your lifetime.
A complete Trust package
At California Document Preparers, our Living Trust is a complete end-of-life document package that includes not only the Trust but a Financial Power of Attorney and an Advanced Healthcare Directive. We also have a section to list emergency contact information for key providers that could include doctors, insurance agents, bankers, contractors—even veterinarians if there are family pets. We encourage our clients to include their logins and passwords to their online accounts—this can save countless hours and inconvenience if there is an emergency or a need to access brokerage or banking accounts for key information. We want our clients to think carefully to include information that their loved ones would need if something should happen to them.
Financial Power Of Attorney
A Financial Power of Attorney gives someone the authority to act on another person’s behalf to handle financial and business transactions. Someone with a Power Of Attorney will typically be called upon to do such things as pay monthly bills, prepare taxes, settle claims, operate business interests or hire household help. For many of our clients, a Financial Power of Attorney comes into effect when parents or other family members become physically or mentally incapable of managing their own affairs, and a family member or trusted aid takes over. At California Document Preparers, we include a Financial Power of Attorney in our Living Trust Package.