While a will is one of the most basic estate planning documents that everyone should have, it does not avoid going through probate, which can be a complicated, time-consuming and expensive process. A will only provides some protection for how you want your assets handled upon your death. It can still leave you exposed, allowing the State of California to make important decisions for you. The best way to protect your assets is to create a transfer mechanism called a living trust. It prevents you from going through probate, protects you from court interference and provides you with the most privacy. The good news is that a living trust is valid in all 50 states and with a revocable living trust, it can be changed at any time to reflect changes that take place in all families over time. Trusts are flexible and can be held in place until a beneficiary reaches a certain age, as well as protecting your assets from spouses, creditors and other elements that would undermine your wishes and the value of your assets.
We are experienced trust attorneys who will work with you to develop a very specific and detailed estate plan that will guarantee your assets are disbursed exactly the way you want them to be upon your death. With an appropriate plan in place, your documents will create an iron-clad plan to be followed that will minimize confusion among your beneficiaries when you pass away. We can structure a trust to provide you with maximum flexibility and in such a way that you will protect your beneficiaries from their own inexperience if they have no skill in managing money or assets. By creating a trust, we can also help you avoid probate, which is not private and is a matter of public record. This will allow assets to pass from one person to another away from the public eye while also reducing court costs, fees and taxes. For trusts already in place, but that are being contested, we can also assist clients with ownership issues, breaches of fiduciary duty, the sale of assets, lawsuits and collections involving estates, and all forms of contested issues.
Trust Transfer Deeds
One of the important services we provide is creating trust transfer deeds, which allow for the transfer of title of property into a revocable living trust. It is the specific mechanism and legal document that ensures the real property owned by you will not be subjected to the probate process. By creating this document, our clients ensure that there will be no reassessment of taxes on a property when they pass away because there is no change of ownership in the property, only an alteration in the vesting of the title. Creating a trust transfer deed also means privacy in regards to ownership is maintained when the living trust is enacted. After the trust officially becomes the owner of the real estate, the trust assumes all responsibilities for the property, including paying the mortgage and property taxes, an important point to remember if you are the administrator in charge of the trust.
The Law Offices of Grossman & Mahan proudly serves Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Canoga Park, Sherman Oaks, West Hills, Encino and nearby California communities.