What is a Living Trust?
A Living Trust or Revocable Trust is a legal document that allows you to place your property and assets into a “Trust” for your benefit during your lifetime and will act like a Will when you die. You may revoke or change the Trust during your lifetime. You retain control of all your property and assets during your lifetime but will designate someone to manage the Trust, for your benefit, if you are not able to do so. Placing your property and assets into a trust allows your estate to avoid being probated court.
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document that allows you to direct what happens to your property after you die. A Will is submitted to the court, after your death, for a process called probate. A judge supervises the execution of your will. The probate process can be lengthy and expensive.
If I have a Trust, do I still need a Will?
Yes. When you create a trust, you will also create a “pour-over” will. Its purpose is to take all the property that is not titled in the Trust and pour it into the Trust upon your death. Properly titling your property into the Trust will allow your estate to avoid the probate process.
DISCLAIMER: All legal principles quoted are valid as of the date of writing in the State of California. However, you should NEVER base your actions on a legal article, blog, or internet story, as facts in real life are complicated. You should have your case evaluated by an attorney experienced in the area of law needed for your case. In addition, there are often exceptions and potential changes to results that occur due to facts that you may think are trivial or unimportant. This article should not be taken in any way as legal advice on your specific legal matter.