Wills and Living Trusts

Living Trusts Explained

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.



Wills & Living Trusts

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Advanced Healthcare Directive

An Advanced Healthcare Directive lets your physician, family and friends know your healthcare preferences, including the types of special treatment you want or don’t want at the end of life–your preference for things like diagnostic testing, pain management and surgical procedures. You should be thinking about whether or not you will want to sign a Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR), how you feel about hospice and organ donation. You will want to think about whether you want to spend your final days in nursing care or in your own home. You should be prepared to select the person who will be in charge of your healthcare choices and discuss the matter with that person ahead of time—this person could be a spouse, son, daughter or other agent. At California Document Preparers, an Advanced Healthcare Directive is included in our Living Trust Package.

Pour Over Will

There is a lot to think about when you prepare legal documents, and many of our clients are concerned that they will have forgotten to include some of their assets in their Living Trusts. For this purpose, there is a safety net that California Document Preparers includes in our Living Trust package called a Pour Over Will. It essentially transfers any remaining assets or property not previously transferred into the Trust—they “pour over” into the Trust so they may be distributed according to the terms of the Trust.

Have you been procrastinating about preparing your Living Trust?

Contact us today; most of our clients tell us that it was much easier than they thought it would be.