Do You Need a Will or a Trust?
We often hear from clients that they feel like they don’t need any kind of estate planning because their kids know how to distribute their property when they die. Unfortunately, in the State of California, distribution of assets on death is not that simple.
If you have no will or trust to specify how your estate should be distributed on your death then the State of California has laws already in place to pick someone to administer your estate and to tell them how to determine who gets your house, your money and your personal possessions. This set of laws is called the Probate Code and the process by which these laws are applied to an estate is called Probate.
You may have heard that probate is a long and expensive court process that should be avoided. Probate can be avoided by preparing a Trust. A Trust is a lot like a will, but the provisions in a Trust allow for probate avoidance as long as your assets are titled in the name of the Trust. Changing the title of assets should have no tax consequences if done correctly. If the assets are titled in the name of a valid Trust on death, there should be no need for a probate.
A valid will is also an effective way to transfer assets on death but, unlike a Trust, a will must be probated.
If you would like more information about avoiding probate or setting up a revocable living trust, call the Keller Law Firm at 661-291-1631.
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