818-305-6200 - Se Habla Español
·
Locations: Burbank-Valencia-Pasadena
Free consultations

Living Trust – Estate Planning

WHAT IS ESTATE PLANNING? 

Estate planning is the process of forming a personalized plan that protects your assets and distributes them in a way that supports your interests, determines guardianship for minor children, arranges care for pets, and provides directions for future healthcare needs.  

WHY CONSIDER ESTATE PLANNING? 

  • Preserves your legacy by accomplishing your personal and family objectives
  • Simplifies the management of your financial and legal matters

OUR SERVICES

  • Revocable Living Trust
    • A trust is a tool for transferring the trust creator’s (trustor’s) estate by forming a fiduciary relationship in which you give another person (the trustee) authority to manage your assets and income for the benefit of your beneficiaries. A revocable trust can be altered during the life of the trustor and becomes irrevocable upon the trustor’s passing. A funded trust bypasses probate proceeding.
  • Special Needs Trust
    • A special needs trust is a trust that allows you to gift a beneficiary with a disability without putting them at risk for disqualification of Medicaid benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program benefits.
  • Will
    • A will is a public document that provides instruction to the executor (personal representative) concerning the transfer of your assets to your beneficiaries and designates a guardian for minor children. Wills do not avoid probate proceedings.
  • Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD):
    • An AHCD appoints an agent to make healthcare decisions in the event that you become incapacitated and unable to make your own healthcare decisions. This document acts as an end of life instrument and also deals with artificial means of life support.
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Property (DPOA)
    • A DPOA nominates a person to make financial and legal decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated. 
  • HIPPA (A Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Authorization) Waiver
    • A HIPPA waiver allows for disclosure of medical information both verbally and in writing to individuals named by yourself.
  • Declaration of Disposition of Last Remains and Burial Instructions
    • This declaration addresses your expressed desires of how to handle your remains and provides burial instructions upon your passing. By including these wishes in your estate plan, you will save your loved ones from ambiguity and additional suffering. 

PROBATE BASICS 

  • Probate is a public court proceeding that distributes your estate under court supervision. Individuals who pass on intestate (without a will), as well as those with a will have to go through probate. In instances where those pass on intestate, the probate court must abide by state intestacy laws. If there is a will, the probate court will have to first deem that the will is legally valid then appoint the executor who will take inventory of your assets at the time of your death, pay applicable taxes and all court-related costs, before distributing assets to heirs or beneficiaries. Probate proceedings can last anywhere from nine months to two years or more. 
  • Generally, people tend to try and avoid probate because of its public, lengthy, and costly nature. You can avoid probate by having a properly funded trust or an estate that is too small to probate (total estate of $166,250 or less as of January 1, 2020). 

ESSENTIAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A WILL AND A TRUST

Will Trust
Less costly and time-consuming to prepare More costly and time-consuming to prepare
Does not require notarization Requires notarization
Does not avoid costly probate process (must be validated in public court proceeding and assets distributed under court supervision)   Properly funded trusts avoid probate process and state control of asset distribution
Can be found in probate records by general public (including creditors) Cannot be found in public records and the privacy of your financial and family affairs is maintained 
Probate process may require a year or more to distribute assets. Beneficiaries receive gifts in shorter amount of time 
Simpler method of leaving assets to beneficiaries  Provides more flexibility and control (i.e. conditional gifts based on future events, protection from their negative or financially reckless behaviors etc.) 
Does not need to be funded after preparation Requires funding after preparation
Does not provide as much comprehensive protection for beneficiaries Protects your children/beneficiaries from their creditors, lawsuits, and spouses 
Does not protect large estates Minimizes tax implications for large estates
Takes effect upon your passing Takes effect during your lifetime and continues upon your passing or incapacity 
Includes guardianship for minor children A trust alone does not name guardians for minor children

ESTATE PLANNING PACKAGES OFFERED

  • (1) STANDARD WILL PACKAGE INCLUDES:
    • Will 
    • Advanced healthcare directives (federal as well as state-specific)
    • Durable Power of Attorney for Property (DPOA)
    • HIPPA (A Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Authorization) Waiver

 

  • (2) STANDARD TRUST PACKAGE INCLUDES:
    • Revocable Living Trust 
      • *Notarization included
      • * Additional fees may apply for Transfer of Deed and filing with County Recorder’s Office
    • Pour-Over Will (governed under the trust) 
    • Advanced Healthcare Directives 
    • Durable Power of Attorney for Property (DPOA)
    • HIPPA (A Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Authorization) Waiver
    • Trust Certificate 
    • Trust Summary
    • Funding Instructions

Contact a Los Angeles living trust attorney at Maclean Chung Law Firm and meet with us at one of our offices in Burbank, Pasadena or Santa Clarita (or meet us via phone or Zoom).  Please call, chat or fill out one of our contact forms.

 

Schedule a Free Consultation

Our Living Trust Lawyers offer the most informative and stress free consultation in the industry. Contact us to speak with an attorney today.

    [cf7sr-simple-recaptcha]