Wills and Trusts
Your estate is all of the property, both real and personal, owned by you prior to distribution through a trust or will. Real property is real estate and personal property includes everything else, for example cars, household items, and bank accounts. Estate planning is the process which you arrange to transfer your assets to your beneficiaries in anticipation of death. A proper estate plan aims to preserve the maximum amount of wealth possible for your beneficiaries yet retains flexibility for you prior to death. Wills and trusts are common ways in which individuals dispose of their wealth. Trusts, unlike wills, have the benefit of avoiding probate, a lengthy and costly legal process that oversees the transfer of assets.
1. Avoids all probate and related costs
2. Can reduce or eliminate estate taxes
3. Allows quick distribution of assets to beneficiaries
4. Preserves privacy - completely confidential
5. Extremely hard to contest
6. Lets you keep control, even if incapacitated, and after death.
7. Prevents a conservatorship/guardianship if incapacitated
8. Minimizes emotional stress on your family
9. Prevents unintentional disinheriting
10. Avoids problems of joint tenancy
11. Inexpensive, easy to set up and maintain
12. Can be changed at any time
13. Protects minor children from court imposed guardianships
14. Can protect dependents with special needs
Advantages of a Living Trust
Contrary to what most people have heard (and have been led to believe over the years), a will is probably not the best way to plan your estate - primarily because a will does not avoid probate. In fact, a will is a one-way ticket to probate - all wills must be verified by the court before they can be enforced.
Also, because a will can only go into effect after you die, it provides no protection if you become physically or mentally incapacitated - a real concern of millions of older Americans - and you could easily end up under the control of the probate court before you die.
Fortunately, there is a traditional alternative to wills and probate. It’s called a revocable living trust. It avoids all probate and makes sure your plan won’t be altered by the court or greedy relatives at your death or disability.
Law Office of David Sarazen
38180 Del Webb Blvd, PMB 83
Palm Desert, CA 92211
Phone: (310) 972-0241
FAX: (310) 317-7811
Attorney at Law, California State Bar, License No. 242721
Real Estate Broker, CA DRE License No. 01116886