Living Trust attorney guides you in how to avoid probate
Probate may be necessary in two situations:
- Somone becomes incapacitated and can no longer take care of themself.
- Someone pases away with assets in their name and the assets need to be transferred to an heir.
When someone becomes incapacitated, establishing a conservatorship through the probate court may be necessary to appoint someone to make medical and financial decisions. Conservatorships are expense and involve extensive court oversight. For instance, whoever is appointed as the conservator will have to provide an inventory of all your assets and an accounting of all your income and expenditures. Any major decisions such a selling a personal residence will require the court to approve such decision (including the sales price). A properly funded living trust and medical directive can avoid this process.
When someone dies with assets that need to be transferred, an executor must be appointed to handle the estate and the transfer. This person will be responsible for
- Filing the will with the California probate court
- Developing the best strategy for fairly and expeditiously settling the estate
- Finding and assembling assets
- Pay creditors and claimants
- Collecting amounts owed the estate
- Closing and opening bank accounts
- Transferring assets from the deceased to the estate
- Paying current and delinquent taxes as well as estate taxes
- Valuing, managing, preserving and liquidating the estate
- Locating beneficiaries
- Hiring experts, when appropriate
Executors can easily make mistakes due to inexperience, stress and hasty decisions. A Living Trust can bypass this process through providing a non-probate transfer of title.