What to Know About Living Trusts

What to Know About Living Trust
What to Know About Living Trusts

Lynx Legal Service Shares Some Things to Know About Living Trust

Living trusts can offer substantial advantages for managing estates before-death and after-death as well. Whether a living revocable trust is right for you depends on your circumstances. Consultation with a qualified attorney should always be a part of your estate planning. Today, the experts at Lynx Legal Service share some things you should know about living trusts.

See also: Living wills and advance directives for clinical choices

What is a Revocable Living Trusts?

This is a written agreement designating someone to be responsible for managing your property. It’s called living trusts because it’s established while you’re alive. It’s revocable because, as long as you’re mentally competent, you can change or dissolve the trust at any time at your own discretion for any reason.

Difference Between a Trust and a Will

Both a living trust and a will contain your inheritance instructions, meaning who gets what, when they get it, and how. For most people with relatively modest estates, wills are quite adequate. They are generally less complicated and less expensive than a trust. A trust is preferred by people concerned with privacy and a desire to avoid probate. Living trusts will not become part of the public record. A will is part of probate, and probate is open to the public record.

Do Living Trusts Require a Lot of Money to Start?

It only requires a token dollar amount to fund a living trust when it’s created. You can fund a trust with as little as one dollar or as much as all the assets you have. You can also specify in your will that your trust is only to be funded upon your death.

Who Can Be Named as Trustee?

Any mentally competent adult can be named as trustee. Normally, people name themselves and their spouse or partner. This gives you full control of the property while you’re alive.

Is a Living Trust Right For Me?

It’s not right for everyone. You should weigh the advantages and disadvantages. For simple estates and investments, it may not be worthwhile since setting up a trust usually involves more cost than a will. Consultation with a qualified attorney can help you decide.


Updating your living trusts in 2021

Updating your living trust in 2021
Updating your living trusts in 2021

2021 is just around the corner, and maybe one of your New Year’s resolutions should be updating your living trust. Most lawyers, as well as financial advisors, suggest reviewing and updating your estate plan every three to five years, including your will and/or any living trusts.

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything it is that our personal circumstances can change significantly in a matter of days. And we’re still not sure what next year will bring with volatility in the stock market, many businesses on pause, and the courts still being limited in the number of filings that they can handle. Therefore, it’s important to take some time now or in January or February, to review your living trust, to assure it still includes everything you want it to, and that it’s current. 

Reasons to update your living trust include:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Death of a beneficiary
  • Acquiring a new property that you wish to add to your trust
  • Moving to another state in which the inheritance laws are different
  • You wish to change a beneficiary, trustee or successor trustee, the way property is distributed, which property remains in the trust, your name
  • You wish to add a beneficiary.

Annual review

Have you experienced a significant change or changes in your life? Either way it’s time for an annual review of your living trust. If the changes in your personal situation affect the terms of your trust, you can make living trust amendments to reflect those changes, or you can choose to revoke your trust.

Revoking a living trust in California isn’t difficult, but there are a few things that you have to do to make that happen. Most trust documents will state the method of revocation; for example, a very common provision found in many trusts states that the grantor has the right to amend or revoke his or her trust by a signed written document delivered to the trustee. 

Revoking a California living trust can also happen if the settlor takes a particular piece of property out of the trust. An example is if you’ve placed your house into the trust. You can revoke the trust as to that asset by filing a new deed, thereby transferring the house out of your trust.

You can also choose to do a “restatement” of the trust if you find that you need to make substantial changes to it. A restatement does not revoke the original trust, but recreates it so you keep the original trust with the property that’s already in it. It allows the trust to be rewritten as a new document with any necessary changes, avoiding the confusion of an amendment.


Don’t yet have a living trust?

Need to make amendments to your living trusts or want to revoke it? Consult an estate planning attorney to advise you as to which option is best for your situation. And, if you don’t already have a living trust, a New Year’s resolution for 2021 should be to create one.

At the Lynx Legal Service, we specialize in creating living trusts as part of a comprehensive estate plan. Call 888-441-2355 or contact us online for a free consultation with our experienced attorney.

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