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Revocable Living Trust in Sacramento

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Create a living trust without a lawyer in California

Hiring a lawyer to create a living trust can be expensive. However, California law does not require an attorney to create one. Our Legal Document Assistants can help you make a valid living trust, saving you a significant amount of money that can be better utilized in other aspects of estate planning.

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Frequently asked questions

A revocable living trust is a legal arrangement designed to manage an individual’s assets during their lifetime and distribute those assets after their death according to their wishes. The trust is formed by the person establishing it, who transfers legal ownership of assets to the trust, managed by a trustee for the benefit of designated beneficiaries.

The term “revocable” means that the person forming the trust can change, amend, or end the trust while they are alive. This provides control over the trust assets. When the person creating the trust passes away, the trust becomes irrevocable, and the trustee distributes the assets to the named beneficiaries according to the trust’s terms.

A revocable living trust is different from a testamentary trust. A will creates the testamentary trust and takes effect only after the person who made the will dies. In contrast, a living trust is in operation during the person’s lifetime and offers various benefits, including avoiding probate, maintaining privacy, and efficient asset management.

Setting up a revocable living trust can be beneficial for several reasons, including avoiding probate, preserving privacy, planning for incapacity, and minimizing taxes.

Probate is the legal procedure of distributing a deceased person’s estate. Hiring a Sacramento probate attorney can be time-consuming and expensive. By creating a living trust, people can bypass the probate process, speeding up asset transfers to beneficiaries and reducing costs.

Privacy is another major advantage of a living trust. Unlike probate proceedings, which are public records, living trust administration remains private. This confidentiality can protect their beneficiaries from unwanted attention and potential conflicts.

A living trust also helps manage assets if the person becomes incapacitated. By appointing a successor trustee, the person ensures their assets will be managed according to their wishes if they are unable to do so themselves.

Lastly, a living trust may offer tax benefits by reducing taxes. For wealthy individuals, a properly structured trust can effectively preserve wealth for future generations.

In California, notarization is not legally required for a revocable living trust to be valid. However, it is highly recommended to use mobile notary services and prevent potential disputes regarding its authenticity. Moreover, notarization can help with transferring real property into the trust.

When transferring real property, like a home, into the trust, the person must execute a deed transferring ownership from their name to the trust. In California, deeds must be notarized to be recorded with the County Recorder’s Office. A notarized deed gives public notice of the trust’s ownership interest in the property and ensures a transparent title.

Generally, a living trust can be amended or revoked, allowing the person forming the trust to change it during their lifetime. However, specific provisions may apply.

The person forming the trust can alter or revoke a revocable living trust, provided they have the legal capacity to do so. This capacity is usually shown through the person’s ability to understand the nature of the trust, its assets, and the parties involved.

To change or revoke a living trust, the person forming the trust must follow the procedures specified in the trust document. Generally, amendments are made using a trust amendment form, while revocation requires a trust revocation form. It is essential to prepare these forms carefully to avoid potential legal disputes.

Both wills and living trusts are legal tools for distributing an individual’s assets after death. Still, they differ in several key aspects, including the probate process, privacy, and ongoing asset management.

A will is a legally binding document outlining an individual’s wishes regarding asset distribution and guardianship appointments for minor children. Upon the individual’s death, the will goes through probate, a public court-supervised process that ensures the proper distribution of assets.

In contrast, a living trust is a legal arrangement in which a trustee manages assets on behalf of beneficiaries. Unlike a will, a living trust avoids probate, allowing for a faster and more private distribution of assets. Additionally, a living trust provides ongoing asset management, which can be especially beneficial in cases of incapacity.

While a living trust is a valuable estate planning tool, it is also advisable to have a will to ensure comprehensive asset distribution. A will serves several functions that a living trust does not, offering a more thorough approach to estate planning.

A primary reason to have a will alongside a living trust is to address assets not included in the trust. These assets may be unintentionally left out or acquired after the trust’s creation. A “pour-over will” can direct these assets into the living trust upon the individual’s death, ensuring they are distributed according to the trust’s terms.

Moreover, a will is necessary for appointing guardians for minor children, a provision not covered within a living trust. Finally, a will allows the individual to express their wishes regarding funeral arrangements and payment of outstanding debts, providing guidance for the estate’s executor.

Inheritance tax refers to a tax levied on an individual who inherits assets from a deceased person. In California, no inheritance tax is imposed on beneficiaries who receive assets from a deceased person’s estate. Before 1982, California imposed an inheritance tax; however, the state has abolished the practice since then. As a result, beneficiaries of an estate in California are not required to pay inheritance tax on the assets they receive.

It is essential to distinguish between inheritance tax and estate tax. While California does not impose an inheritance tax, the federal government levies an estate tax. Estate tax is charged on the deceased person’s estate before distributing assets to beneficiaries. The federal estate tax exemption is over $12 million per individual, but this threshold is subject to change due to legislative amendments. It is wise to consult an experienced professional to navigate complex tax laws.

Typically, attorney’s fees for creating a basic revocable living trust range from $1,500 to $3,000 for individuals and $2,500 to $5,000 for married couples. These fees generally cover drafting the trust document, a pour-over will, durable power of attorney, and advance health care directive. If the estate is more complex and involves multiple properties, the cost may be higher, ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.

If you are searching for a more affordable option, our Legal Document Assistants can help you create a valid living trust without expensive attorney fees. The only things we cannot do is give legal advice or represent someone in court. Our fees for a living trust range from $600 to $800 for individuals and $800 to $1,000 for married couples.

Other costs may be associated with maintaining a revocable living trust, such as notary fees, recording fees for transferring real estate, and fees for trust administration services.