Most California residents believe that their estate planning is finished once they execute a will. While a will is an excellent tool to provide information and guidance on how a decedent wishes to pass on their wealth and assets to their beneficiaries, there are options for individuals who wish to take more control of their estates. One tool that is well-suited to individuals who want to avoid probate is the revocable living trust.
A revocable living trust is a trust that is created during a person's lifetime and that may be revoked or changed. A person may put their assets into a trust and effectively remove them from their ownership, for once a piece of property is moved into a trust, it is owned by the trust and not the original owner. Therefore, a person may create a revocable living trust while they are alive, place their property into it, and then manage it for their own benefit and the benefit of those they love.
Once a person passes away, the beneficiaries of the trust would then take possession of the trust assets directly, and that property would not have to go through probate. This can mean fewer costs and more privacy for individuals who do not wish to have their estates made public during the probate process.
As readers can see, revocable living trusts have many advantages. In order to determine if one is right for them, they are encouraged to discuss their estate planning goals and needs with trusted attorneys in their communities.