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Roseville, CA Trust Attorney

Estate planning can be a complicated and unpleasant subject.  People prefer to simply ignore it.  However, if you avoid taking the appropriate measures to ensure that your worldly assets are treated according to your wishes, you could create headaches for your loved ones down the line.  One way to ensure that your affairs are in order is by utilizing a living trust.

A trust is a financial vehicle which allows for property to be held and distributed according to the intent and wishes of the original owner of that property.  Trusts have the benefit of skipping probate court while also functioning during the life of the settlor.  There are some tricky requirements for a valid trust in California, so make sure that you consult a Roseville trust attorney if you believe that a trust may be a beneficial option for you.

NewPoint Law Group, LLP’s wealth of experience with clients throughout the years provides us with the knowledge and resources to ensure that you and your loved ones are secure well into the future.  Whether you are unsure of whether a trust would benefit you or if you need help drafting and executing trust documents, we are ready to assist you today.  To schedule an appointment with one of our esteemed Roseville trust lawyers, call us at 800-358-0305.

Requirements of a Valid Trust in Roseville, CA

People can create a valid living trust in a number of different ways.  For instance, any transfer of property by one person to another as a trustee is enough to create a trust.

Unlike wills, trusts are not testamentary documents.  Trusts do not need to be notarized (even though most are anyway).  Trusts will not go through probate for approval, but if you need to prove that the trust exists, having a formal document can be helpful.  Unless the property that is held in trust is real estate, the trust does not even have to been recorded in order to be valid.  However, we highly suggest that your trust is recorded, as the text of the trust document can be vital if intent needs to be clarified.

Below are some key statutory requirements for validity in a trust that Californians should be aware of while they consider creating a trust.

Property Held in Trust

Trusts must have some property at all times while it exists.  A trust cannot be created without property.  Once a trust runs out of property, either because it was distributed entirely or any other reason, it ceases to exist.

Intent to Create a Trust

The person who started the trust (or the “settlor” of the trust) must have exhibited some intent to create the trust in their actions.  This may be accomplished simply by naming the recipient of the property held in trust as the trustee.  All trusts must have a trustee.

Purpose of Trust

Property that is held in trust must be held and used for a particular purpose.  Often times, the purpose of a trust is to support and benefit a specifically identified person (i.e., a “beneficiary”).  A trust cannot hold property for the sake of holding property.  Trusts are vehicles for holding and distributing money according to the terms and wishes of the settlor.  If these are not readily identifiable, the trust may be deemed invalid under California state law.

Time Restrictions on Trusts

Trusts must also expire within a certain amount of time.  A trust can only last either 90 years from creation or 21 years after a specific named individual in the trust dies.  Once the trust reaches its statutory limit, the property held in trust must be distributed according to the intent of the settlor.  If you are concerned about these or any other restrictions that may invalidate your living trust, call our Roseville trust lawyers today.

Benefits of a Trust in Roseville, CA

The greatest benefit of a trust in California is the avoidance of probate.  Probate is how the government ensures that your estate pays creditors and distributes assets upon your death.  The process can be convoluted, time-consuming, and expensive, particularly for those with complicated assets.

California does have certain shortcuts to the probate process in place, usually meant for smaller estates.  However, for anyone who owns a house or apartment in the State of California, this streamlined option is most likely unavailable.

A trust bypasses probate court the same way that the benefits of a 401k or a life insurance plan would.  It also provides you (and your chosen trustee or trustees) with more control over how your assets are distributed, rather than leaving it in the hands of the state government.  Further, going through probate creates a public record.  If you are interested in privacy, a trust may be the best option for you.

Living trusts may also be useful to prepare for a situation where you become incapacitated and can no longer handle your financial affairs.  To hear more about this eventuality, keep reading below, or call one of our Roseville trust attorneys today.

Using a Trust to Plan for Incapacity in Roseville, CA

Revocable living trusts can be highly useful when you suspect that you will no longer be able to make informed or reliable decisions about your finances.  A revocable living trust names a trustee (typically, the settlor) and also a successor trustee to take on the management of assets held in trust on behalf of the original settlor once that person is no longer capable of doing it themselves.

When and how the successor trustee takes control of the revocable living trust is typically determined by the language of the specific trust.  Some trusts may require that a physician make the determination.  Others may rely on the word of the successor trustee, which may complicate matters.  Whatever path you may elect, be sure that the language of the trust is clear and explicit as to this section.

Call Us to Get Started on Your Trust in Roseville, CA

It is never too early or too late to start thinking about your future.  To get the help of the excellent Roseville trust attorneys at NewPoint Law Group, LLP, call our offices at 800-358-0305.

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