A revocable living trust (“Trust”) is a document very much like a will, except that with a Trust your heirs do not have to go to court if you become incapacitated or if you pass away. Specifically, the Trust states who inherits your assets (the “Beneficiaries”), who ensures the assets get to the Beneficiaries (the “Trustee”), when the Beneficiaries receive the assets (the “Mandatory Distributions”) and how the Trustee manages the assets before the Mandatory Distributions (the “Discretionary Distributions”). In fact, almost every person in California who owns a home needs a Trust.
Primarily, trust and estate planning involves preparing a revocable living trust (“Trust”) and other documents. Specifically, the Trust is part of a package of documents called an “Estate Plan” all of which are designed to keep your family out of court. For example, one of the documents you will receive is called a “Pour-Over Will”. The Pour-Over Will serves two purposes. First, it acts as an insurance policy in case something is accidentally left outside of your trust. Second, it nominates guardians for your children. This simple, yet very important nomination guides your family and takes the guesswork out of who will take care of your children.
You will also receive an Advanced Healthcare Directive (the “AHD”) and a Durable Power of Attorney for Finances (the “DPA”). The AHD sets forth your wishes in case you become severely ill and also names an agent for you to make decisions concerning your health. You agent uses the DPA to sign your name for you if you are unable to do so.
You may come to our office, but you can also choose the virtual route. As your virtual attorney, our meetings occur via video conference and you and your spouse can be in different locations. As a result, we will exchange thoughts and ideas electronically and review your documents virtually. Finally, when the plan is done, we will send out a notary to collect your signatures and then mail you hard copies of the completed documents.