A Living Trust
When planning your estate, a living trust is an essential part of organizing your assets. In California, a living trust is defined as a legal document that you author in order to place your assets in a trust while you are alive. The trust is managed by a trustee, who continues to oversee it when you pass when the assets are distributed to the assigned beneficiaries.
You can be the trustee of your living trust, but you can also place the trust in the hands of another individual, group, or institution. If you take on the responsibility of the trustee, you will have the power to manage the assets during your lifetime. However, in this case, a successor is chosen to take over the trust when you are no longer willing or able to. If you do not wish to manage your trust, a heavy responsibility that some may choose to forgo, you may place the trust in the hands of another individual or group. If this appointed trustee is a professional and not of direct relation, they must be licensed and registered to perform the duty in the State of California.
One of the most significant responsibilities of a trustee is to maintain the assets within the trust and to maintain them to your benefit. They are to control the trust in compliance with fiduciary guidelines and standards. Upon your passing, the trustee or successor must ensure that your assets are distributed properly to the assigned beneficiaries.
When setting up a trust, it is essential to appoint a responsible and committed trustee, to ensure that, even after you pass, your assets will be managed according to your wishes. If your trustee abides by the guidelines you’ve set forth, there is less of a chance of dispute or probate, meaning a direct and painless distribution of assets. This will save time and money for your beneficiaries. Though a living trust is not suited for everyone, an attorney can help determine if it is appropriate for you.