A Living Trust is a private agreement where the Trust holds the legal possessions of assets that belong to a Trustor (client) and then the beneficiaries after the client’s death. These assets remain under the control of the Trustor (client) during the client’s lifetime. Unlike a Will, a Living Trust avoids the expense and time consuming anguish of probate. Also, a Trust is a private document while a Will is public when in probate and can be easily contested.
A Living Trust will avoid probate for all of the assets that have been transferred into the trust. If you own a home, you need a Trust. In California, an estate with more than $150,000 in assets would be subject to probate without a Living Trust. Probate is expensive and time consuming. It can cost up to 5%-10% of the estate’s total value and take from 6 months to 2 years.
A Living Trust is a private document that can not be changed after death and should provide the peace of mind that your last wishes will be followed through to your loved ones.