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How does a Trust Work

County Law Center > How does a Trust Work

A trust is a revocable instrument, often referred to as a living trust, revocable trust and inter vivos trust and is set up during your lifetime. A trust is created to hold assets, and the goal is to make sure assets are titled in the name of your living trust. You are the trustee of your trust until death, and then the trust is turned over to a trustee who will distribute the assets as assigned by the trust. All the assets in a trust will transfer to the beneficiaries without the probate process.

The living trust is a lengthy document as it details exactly how the trust is to be managed, and the assets will be handled in the event you become incapacitated or how the assets will be distributed at the time of your death. The trust will also name the trustee or trustees and beneficiaries. Living trusts are crafted by estate planning and probate attorneys in accordance with the California probate laws. The trust must be filed with probate court in order for it to binding. Changes can be made to the trust via an amendment or the trust can be cancelled by revocation by the trustee.

The trust will contain a synopsis or summary and it is just what the name implies. It summarizes the main provisions of the trust and includes a reference to the trustees, beneficiaries, disposition of property and other elements pertinent to the trust.

Trust certifications are the documents necessary for investment companies, banks and the County Recorder to open or close bank and investment accounts and transfer property. The certifications are the authorizing documents confirming the elements of a trust. Providing just the certifications of a trust will maintain the privacy of a trust.

Pour over wills is the document that will provide testamentary instructions that will allow any assets left out of the trust inadvertently will be poured over into the living trust. The goal of this document is provide a catch all or safety net to make sure everything is in the trust to avoid a lengthy and expensive probate process.

A living trust should also include a document that serves as a power of attorney. The power of attorney transfers the management of the trust to a trusted person in the event the trustee becomes incapacitated. That person will be responsible for managing the trust, filing taxes and paying the bills and all other elements of the trust.

For will and trust information and to determine what is best to suit your needs and desires, contact Marc Duxbury at County Law Center located in Carlsbad, California telephone 760-438-5291. Marc Duxbury is a recognized expert in estate planning.