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By Diana Wade

Common questions about living trust (part 1)

Ask the LDA


January 8, 2022

Diana Wade.

What is the main purpose of a living trust?

A living trust is designed to allow for the easy transfer of the trust creator or settlor's assets while bypassing the often complex and expensive legal process of probate. Living trust agreements designate a trustee who holds legal possession of assets and property that flow into the trust.

Is a living trust really necessary?

Living trusts allow estates to avoid probate, the court process that otherwise oversees the paying of creditors and distribution of someone's assets. ... Even in California, smaller estates (those under $166,000) can avoid probate or qualify for a streamlined process that can make living trusts unnecessary. However, the filing fee in Kern County is $435.00 and there are other fees as well even for a small estate.

What are benefits of living trust?

• A living trust avoids probate. Probate is the court-supervised process of distributing a deceased person's estate.

• A living trust may save money.

• A living trust protects your privacy.

• A living trust assists in the event of incapacitation.

• A living trust provides certainty and peace of mind.

Is a living trust better than a will?

A trust will streamline the process of transferring an estate after you die while avoiding a lengthy and potentially costly period of probate. However, if you have minor children, creating a will that names a guardian is critical to protecting both the minors and any inheritance.

What's the difference between a trust and a living trust?

There is no difference between a trust and a living trust. The person who manages the assets of a trust is called a trustee, who manages the assets based on the terms of the trust document. In estate planning, living trusts, also known as intervivos trusts, are the most common type of trust.

Diana Wade is a Legal Document Assistant. She can be reached at (661) 821-0494 or Diana is not an attorney; she can only provide self-help services at your specific direction. Kern County LDA #185, ex 4/11/23.


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