Living Trust | Estate Plan Pros

Trusts are the foundation of your estate plan.

Trusts are powerful planning tools that enable you to avoid probate, plan long term for your family’s future success, and possibly save on estate taxes, or even qualify you or your spouse for Medi-Cal or VA benefits.  

There are many different types of trusts, and even inside a “basic” revocable living trust there are many differences.  Differences that may not be apparent to you when you look at a trust, but that become glaringly apparent for your surviving spouse or children.

Related Blog Posts

5 Types of Living Trusts You Need to Know About

5 Types of Living Trusts You Need to Know About

Not all living trusts are the same.  And I’m not talking about quality either, though that is a major factor too.  I’m talking about the difference between minivans, pickups, and sports cars.  There are five major types of trusts that we use every day in our practice for different situations. Probate Avoidance TrustThis is the basic, direct distribution trust that is the typical...

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Naming A Minor Child as a Beneficiary?  Not so Fast.

Naming A Minor Child as a Beneficiary? Not so Fast.

Planning for worst case scenarios is the reason why we get life insurance in the first place.  But could some simple wording changes on your life insurance beneficiary form make a big difference?  It could make the difference between the court sitting on the money until the child turns 18 instead of the person you trust being able to immediately use those funds for your child’s benefit....

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Trusts are the "swiss army knife" tool of the estate planning world

Who Needs a Living Trust

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked ‘which is better, a will or a trust’ I could buy a lot of coffee.  Trusts have become popular in the last 50 years or so, while wills have been around for a long, long time.  For people who love history like me, check out “Wills of our Founding Fathers”Which is better, a will or a trust?  That’s like asking which is better, a hammer...

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Presidential Tycoons, Estate Planning and You

Presidential Tycoons, Estate Planning and You

What does the election of Donald J. Trump have to do with your estate plan?  According to a recent national survey conducted by Wealth Counsel, Inc.,in fact, nearly half of all respondents believed that estate planning is only for the super-rich and most people don’t need it.  This misperception causes families to:·         Not have a named...

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Five Hidden Dangers Your Family Faces Without An Estate Plan

Five Hidden Dangers Your Family Faces Without An Estate Plan

“I won’t care when I’m gone.”  I hear that frequently in my estate planning practice and its true.  But some things might be happening to the people you care about that you might not appreciate.  Here are five critical dangers you and your family face by not having a plan in place. 1. The Judge is In Charge if You Become IncapacitatedThe rule is pretty simple, someone has to be in...

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How to Create Your Rulebook – an Estate Plan that Has Your Voice

How to Create Your Rulebook – an Estate Plan that Has Your Voice

My grandmother was an excellent tailor, creating many garments for our family and others.  They were always made well, fit well, and expressed her love and creativity for each of us.  The shirts I buy off the rack will never be able to compete with my shirts from grandma.  An estate plan is like a good shirt.  A good shirt is cut to fit you, uses fabrics and colors that suit...

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Is Your Estate Simple or Complex

How to Tell If Your Estate Really Is Simple

When dealing with the “wonderland” that is the legal system, you can find yourself falling down the rabbit hole.  When it comes to the question of whether your estate is “simple” or “complex” you’ll find that the answer has some curious and perhaps some surprising twists. How big is your estate?That is the obvious question, isn’t it? Yes, size can matter, particularly for estate tax planning...

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Understanding the “Moving Parts” in a Trust

Understanding the “Moving Parts” in a Trust

Estate planning can appear complicated because we attorneys have so many odd names for different things.  You can find yourself easily asking, who talks like that?  Understanding your trust starts with knowing what are the moving parts in your trust. Trust MakerWhen you create your trust, you’ll see that the trust refers to you as the Grantor or the Settlor or Trustor or Trustmaker....

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Three Ways to Pass Your Real Property to Your Children

Three Ways to Pass Your Real Property to Your Children

Besides retirement accounts, real property typically accounts for the largest portion of most estates.  The question is what is the best way to transfer your home and other real estate assets to your children.  There are three primary ways you can transfer real estate: by deed, by a will, or by a trust.  Transfer by a DeedWhen you put your children’s name on title to your assets...

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Modest estate going through probate

A Tale of Two Estates: A Journey through Probate

John, a widower, owns his modest home with a small mortgage.  When he passes away, his three children find buried in all his papers a will instructing them to divide everything equally.  The oldest child, Bill, heads down to the realtors office to list the property.  And so the journey begins…At the realtor’s office, Bill discovers that with a will, he’ll have to open a probate...

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