Whether you have a little or a lot, own real property or not, estate planning is essential to ensure finances and health care are handled the way you want in both life and death. The Revocable Living Trust incorporates a Living Trust Package that includes your Will, Durable General Power of Attorney and Advance Health Care Directive.
As you recall (or don’t recall), the Revocable Living Trust avoids the cost and delay of probate, wherein the Superior Court of California appoints an executor and executor’s attorney to administer your property. The executor and her attorney assess considerable fees for the pleasure of distributing your assets. This means that your $300,000 home would become a $282,000 home before it passed to your heirs (after deducting probate costs). And not-less-importantly, probate stalls distribution: it could take a whole year before heirs received the property.
But beyond the clear-cut imperative to put your home (and other substantial assets) in a trust, the comprehensive Living Trust Package answers the following essential concerns:
1. What if I forgot (or haven’t) added all my property to the Revocable Living Trust?
2. How are my finances and health care managed if I’m incapacitated (unable to handle affairs or communicate)?
excellent decent questions. Please allow your wills and trusts attorney to answer em.
In question one, above, we wonder, what if we inadvertently (or not inadvertently or… isn’t inadvertently an incredibly, particularly awkward word to say, anyway?) omitted an asset from the Revocable Living Trust? Well, the Living Trust Package sports a safety feature, which is the Last Will and Testament. It’s not just any will, but a will we call (simply enough) the pour-over will. The pour-over will provides that assets omitted from the living trust will, ahem, pour over (be added) to the living trust, then dealt with per the living trust instructions.
Question two anticipates cases when we can’t conduct necessary financial affairs (e.g. writing checks). In the event you are incapacitated, a Durable General Power of Attorney bestows authority upon an Attorney-in-fact (who needn’t be an attorney at law, like yours truly; instead they can be a “normal” person) to step in (with a pen) if you can’t act when it’s called for.
One day we may be unable to communicate health care choices. Therefore, within the Living Trust package, we create the Advance Health Care Directive. The Advance Health Care Directive ensures your fundamental preferences are honored. Do you want life prolonged at all costs, regardless of degree of pain or loss of consciousness? Do you wish to donate organs? If loved ones must–God-forbid–contend with such questions, they deserve to have an answer. Your answer.
If you do not have impetus to make a Revocable Living Trust, you will still benefit from the legal instruments that comprise the Living Trust Package. It’s the same kind of deal, simply sans the Living Trust itself and we call it the Living Estate Package.