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What Is A Trust?
We’ve talked about why probate isn’t such a great deal for most people in the state of California and because of that, a lot of people end up doing our third option. Option three is to do a trust. The easiest way to look at a trust is that a trust is like a box. You set it up, you put your stuff into it, and the box owns the stuff, but you on the box. It’s kind of one step removal of ownership. The reason that’s useful is when you’re gone, the trust continues to exist. You will have designated people who can step up to control the box and everything in it, following your instructions. Whether that’s to take everything out of the trust and give it to the people were supposed to receive it, or keep it in the trust for the benefit of those people.
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Of course a lot of times we have clients come into a small children, and it does make a lot of sense to dump a bunch of property and money into the lap of a five-year-old for example. So with a trust, you can make it so that all of those things are held in the trust that person’s benefit and not distributed until some triggering event, such as when they reach a certain age, graduate from college, or whatever else you think is most appropriate.
Everything that’s inside of a trust is considered outside of your probate estate. The idea is that you set up a trust, you put everything in it, you put in your house, you put in your bank accounts, you point your life insurance at it, you point your investment accounts at it, and everything else that you need to make sure that the trust is properly funded. At the time that you pass away, you don’t have a probate estate. The threshold for going into probate is if you have any assets with a gross value of more than $150,000 or if you own any real estate with a gross value of more than $50,000. If you take all that stuff you put it into your trust, then at the time you pass away, your state doesn’t hit those thresholds and so you don’t have to worry about going into a probate.
El Dorado Hills5137 Golden Foothill Parkway, Ste. 110
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
Sacramento8880 Cal Center Dr., Ste 400
Sacramento, CA 95826
About Morris Law Group
Attorney David R. Morris is a Certified Specialist in Estates, Trusts, and Probate, certified by the State Bar of California. Certified Specialists undergo rigorous peer review, testing, and education to certify that they are experts in their subject matter areas. Fewer than two percent of attorneys in California become Certified Specialists in any area of law—the designation serves as an indication that the attorney is skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable in the specialty area.
With offices in Sacramento and El Dorado Hills, Morris Law Group provides innovative, cost effective solutions for clients seeking to resolve and avoid problems related to their families and livelihoods. We serve individuals and business clients in the communities of El Dorado Hills, Sacramento, West Sacramento, South Sacramento, Midtown Sacramento, Natomas, Folsom, Granite Bay, Rancho Cordova, Citrus Heights, Carmichael, Roseville, Cameron Park, Shingle Springs and Placerville.