A living trust is a legal document that allows you to transfer ownership of your assets to a trustee, who will manage and distribute them according to your wishes after you die. Living trusts can help to avoid probate, minimize estate taxes, and provide for your loved ones in a timely and efficient manner. A living trust becomes exceedingly necessary when you own a home and other real estate as well as a personal business.
If you are considering setting up a living trust in California, you may be wondering how long the process takes. The answer depends on a number of factors, including how complex your trust is and whether you choose to work with an attorney or use an online system.
Working with an attorney
The most common way to set up a living trust in California is to work with an estate planning attorney. An attorney can help you to create a trust that is tailored to your specific needs and goals. They can also explain the different types of trusts available and help you to choose the right one for your situation. Many attorneys that have been practicing for years have seen where things can go sideways and help you avert that scenario. In essence, there is no replacement for experience.
The time it takes to set up a living trust with an attorney will vary depending on the complexity of the trust and the attorney's schedule. However, you can expect the process to take at least a few weeks, and possibly longer if you have a complex estate. Our office usually has them completed in two to three weeks again unless there are personal businesses and additional real estate involved.
Using an online system
There are also a number of online systems that offer to help you create a living trust. These systems may seem as a more affordable option than working with an attorney, but they are not without their disadvantages.
One of the biggest drawbacks of using an online system is that you will not have the opportunity to review the trust documents with an attorney before you sign them. This is important because living trust documents can be complex and may contain legal jargon that you do not understand.
Another drawback of using an online system is that you will have to find your own notary to sign the trust documents once they are finally delivered to your home or you'll be printing your own off of the internet maybe leaving a digital footprint of personal information that could be vulnerable. You will also have to file your own deed if you own real estate and transfer ownership of the real estate to the trust at the local county recorder and know the other forms that must be submitted with it or they'll reject it costing you more time and effort trying to get it right.
Finally, most online systems do not provide any guidance on how to fund your living trust. This means that you will need to figure out how to transfer ownership of your assets to the trust on your own. You will not have a relationship where you can do periodic check-ups to make sure your funding of your trust is maintained or someone who has the master if you want to make formal changes.
Which option is right for you?
The best way to decide whether to work with an attorney or use an online system to set up a living trust is to consider your individual needs and budget. If you have a complex estate or if you want the guidance of an attorney, then working with an attorney is the best option. However, if you have a simple estate and you are comfortable creating your own trust documents, then using an online system may be a more affordable option.
How long does it take to fund a living trust in California?
The time it takes to fund a living trust in California will vary depending on the type of assets you own and how many assets you need to transfer to the trust.
If you own simple assets, such as bank accounts and investment accounts, you can transfer ownership of the assets to the trust by contacting the financial institutions where the assets are held. You will need to provide the financial institutions with the trust's tax identification number and the name of the trustee.
If you own more complex assets, such as real estate or business interests, you may need to consult with an attorney to determine how to transfer ownership of the assets to the trust.
Once you have transferred ownership of your assets to the trust, you will need to update your beneficiary designations for all of your accounts and policies. You should also notify your financial advisor and insurance agent that you have created a living trust.
The time it takes to set up and fund a living trust in California will vary depending on a number of factors. However, by working with an estate planning attorney or using an online system, you can create and fund a living trust in a relatively short period of time.
Additional information for Aliso Viejo, California
If you live in Aliso Viejo, California, we are here for you and would be honored to assist you in setting up your living trust.
If you are considering using an online system to set up a living trust, it is important to do your research and choose a reputable system. You should also read the terms of service carefully before you sign up for any system.
Once you have created a living trust, it is important to review it periodically and update it as needed. You should also keep a copy of the trust documents in a safe place.