A California living trust form is a legal document that is drafted to transfer a person’s assets on to their named beneficiaries upon death. Our free California living trust forms are very popular estate planning tools that can be utilized to avoid probate and court supervision of your assets.
When filling out California living trust forms, the assets that you own are placed into your living trust. These assets include your real estate property, checking and savings accounts, vehicles, investment accounts and more. You decide the assets that are placed in your California Living Trust.
The trust assets are now assigned to the living trust and managed by you during your lifetime for you and your beneficiaries benefit. Once you pass on, the assets placed in the California living trust are then distributed to your named heirs.
With California living trust forms, you name your trustee and successor trustee – the person or persons who will control your assets when you are alive (this is most likely yourself) and when you pass on (it should be someone you trust in entirety). You also name the beneficiaries in the living trust who receive your assets when you die.
Once you pass away, your California living trust allows for all assets to be transferred to your beneficiaries promptly and privately. It is for this reason that California living trust forms are an integral part of a well thought out estate plan.
How California Living Trust Forms Work
The person drafting the California living trust forms, called the grantor, transfers assets into a California living trust during his or her lifetime. Once written, the California living trust becomes the actual owner of all the property placed in the trust.
Now, the same person who created the trust becomes the grantor, successor trustee and beneficiary of the California living trust and retains all control of the property that was put in the trust. You can assign real estate, bank accounts, automobiles, stocks and more to a California living trust; just about any type of asset you choose.
In the event the grantor wants to change the California living trust, it can be changed or revoked at any time. However, a California living trust may only be changed or revoked before the grantor’s death. This is why a California living trust is also known as a California revocable living trust.
Once the grantor dies, though, the trust becomes a California irrevocable living trust and can’t be changed in any way. Now, the named successor trustee assumes management of the California living trust.
The successor trustee will now distribute all the assets placed in the California living trust by the grantor to the beneficiaries named in the trust. Once all assets are disbursed, the California living trust is then terminated.
Where to Store your California Living Trust
Once you have finished drafting your California living trust form, you will need to find a safe place to store it. This should include all of your estate planning documents. Not only your living trust, but also your power of attorney, last will and testament, and pour over will.
The most popular place to store a living trust is a bank safety deposit box. If you do this, though, make sure to keep a copy of the documents at home in an easy to find location for your successor trustee. Include a note to let your trustee know where the original living trust is stored.
Your successor trustee will need the original California living trust forms immediately after you pass on to take care of all the necessary obligations of the trust.
Benefits of a California Living Trust
A California living trust offers its grantor and heirs many benefits:
- A California living trust allows heirs a way to avoid probate and court supervision of your assets.
- California living trust forms are private documents and aren’t public knowledge – like a California last will and testament.
- You don’t have to hire an attorney to draft California living trust forms.
- A California living trust will take care of your affairs if you become incapacitated.
- California living trust forms are valid in all 50 states in case you move.
Bear in mind, writing a will in California is still highly recommended. You could have property that you forgot about, inherited or bought after you create a living trust in California.
Any assets left out of the living trust will be subject probate and court supervision. A Pour Over Will is beneficial in these types of instances. Pour Over Wills are not probated and work by pouring any recently acquired assets back into your Living Trust once you pass away.
California Living Trust Forms must be Notarized
Once you have completed your California living trust, you will need to sign the document in the presence of a notary public to make it valid. You will need to take two forms of identification with you.
The notary will sign, date and stamp your trust. Your California living trust form will then be a legal and binding document and your successor trustee will be able to quickly step in a take care of your affairs.