Estate Planning in Los Altos — Revocable Living Trusts & Wills
The attorneys at Kramer Radin, LLP prepare individually tailored estate planning documents, including revocable living trusts and wills, for clients in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties and throughout the Peninsula/South Bay Area of Northern California.
Revocable Living Trusts
A revocable living trust is a document which you create during your lifetime which allows you to specify who will manage the assets of the trust during your lifetime (the “successor trustee”) and who will receive the assets of the trust (the trust “beneficiaries”) following your death. Typically, you would name yourself as both the trustee and the beneficiary of the trust during your lifetime, thereby ensuring that you still have complete use and control over your assets. As the name implies, you can revoke the trust or make changes to the provisions of the trust during your lifetime.
An important distinction between a revocable living trust and a will is that a properly funded revocable living trust allows you to avoid the time delays and expenses associated with the probate process. Also, unlike a will, which has no legal effect until the time of your death, a revocable living trust becomes effective during your lifetime, and provides a plan for the management of the assets held in the trust in the event of your subsequent incapacity.
A will is the traditional legal document in which you name who is to receive your property after your death. A will allows you to name a guardian for your minor children. Different types of wills and various will provisions allow you to accomplish different estate planning goals. For example, a “pour-over” will can work in conjunction with a revocable living trust by “pouring over” certain remaining assets from the deceased’s estate into the designated trust.
If you die without a will or other estate planning instrument, you die “intestate,” and your estate will be distributed as determined by California law and administered by someone appointed by the Court.
For sound advice and experienced assistance with estate planning, including revocable living trusts and wills, contact Kramer Radin, LLP.