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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 54825
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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We are a plain three people family. We have a vanilla shared

Customer Question

We are a plain three people family. We have a vanilla shared Living Trust naming each other as trustees and a son as subsequent and major residual beneficiary. I have less than $ 1M. in liquid assets churning outside of the trust. In a Will under California
law, I wish to have these assets transferred into the Trust on my death, for the use or distribution by the trustees under the terms of that trust. My question is what are the pros and cons of this arrangement? The LT path appears to reduce or eliminate probate,
leave the assets available for my flexible use, yet provides a path to my intended beneficiaries that could be interrupted by my trustees should they need.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this plan. Especially in CA where the probate process can be expensive and burdensome. It's exactly what I would propose with regard to the living trust. BUT, you want to transfer these assets into your trusts before your death. The trusts are revocable so you have full control over the assets, but if you wait until death, you will not avoid the probate process because the assets have to go through your will.

Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

You only have your will in case you fail to transfer something into your living trust during life. I would also suggest you each have a Durable General Power of Attorney, a Durable Medical Power of Attorney, and a Directive to Physicians for your end of life decisions in the event of a terminal or irreversible condition. These documents are to handle situations during your life when you become unable to act on your own behalf.