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Revocable Living Trust

Your Revocable Living Trust, Schedule of Trust Assets and General Grant and Assignment

A Trust is a legal entity to which you transfer substantially all of your assets, and formally title them in your Trust instead of your individual name. Your assets are held by you as Trustee, and administered for your own benefit. On your death, your named Successor Trustee steps in your shoes, and manages and distributes the assets owned by your Trust to the Beneficiaries which you have designated in the Trust to inherit from you. As such, your Trust, and not your Will, determines who gets what after you are gone.

Assets owned in Trust avoid Probate, with its staggering expense and court delays. The legal fees to undergo Probate are set by the California Legislature in Probate Code Sections 10810 – 10814, and are a percentage of the Gross value of the Estate, which is determined by a Court appointed Probate Referee.  For example, an Estate with gross value of $1 million will pay $23,000 to each the Estate Representative and the Estate Attorney; a $2 million dollar estate – $33,000 to each, and a $5 million dollar estate – $63,000 to each!

The terms and structure of your Trust will be customized to fit your specific circumstances and family dynamic, will depend on the extent of assets you transfer into the Trust, and the inheritance goals which you seek to put in place for those whom you designate to inherit from you through the Trust.

Because your Trust is revocable, you can change the terms of the Trust at any time during your life. And, because you are in full control of your assets, the Trust reports to your Social Security Number, and your income tax reporting remains unchanged. Moreover, transferring real estate into your trust does not trigger reassessment of the property taxes.

While you have full control and access to all your trust assets, those you name as beneficiaries after you are gone, do not have such access and control. This allows you put in place spendthrift and asset protection provisions that may shield your beneficiaries from their own creditors.

Schedule “A” to your Trust which is also your General Grant and Assignment will specifically assign to your Trust all of your right, title and interest in your property, but it is no substitute to the process of Funding the trust. This involves conveying title of your assets into your Trust. For example, by way of the next document, the Trustee’s Certificate, you will convey your financial assets into your Trust, while real property situated anywhere in the United States is conveyed via a Quitclaim Deed, which is notarized and recorded with the County Recorder’s Office where the property is located. This avoids Probate administration in multiple States, because real estate is always subject to Probate in the State where it is located (unless owned in Trust).

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