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5 Steps to Take Before Developing a Living Trust


When you are ready to develop a living trust, taking some time to do the following can ensure that you cover all of your bases and devise an effective trust for certain assets, needs, and wishes.

  • Step 1: Inventory your assets – Create a formal list of all of your major assets, including assets like (but not limited to) bank accounts, investment accounts, stocks, bonds, real estate, motor vehicles, etc. Do not include assets that you own jointly with someone else. With this list of your personal assets, you can start to identify which assets you may want to use to fund the living trust.
  • Step 2: Compile the ownership documents for your assets – For the assets you may be considering using to fund a trust, locate and compile the ownership (and other relevant) documents for them. These can include property titles, deeds, appraisals, account statements, etc. Having these documents on hand can facilitate the process of putting the trust in place later.
  • Step 3: Select and rank a few successor trustees – If you will be the trustee overseeing the living trust, think about two to three people who you would want to serve as your successor at any point in the future. The best options will be individuals who are responsible, trustworthy, diligent, and reliable.
  • Step 4: Select your beneficiaries – The next step to take when getting ready to set up a living trust will be to choose the beneficiaries of the trust. These beneficiaries can include relatives, friends, and others, and as you select them, think about how you would want the assets of the trust transferred to these beneficiaries (i.e., the terms of transfer).
  • Step 5: Contact the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman – After completing these preparations, contacting a lawyer at the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman will be essential to formalizing your living trust and setting it up according to your wishes.

Living Trusts: More Important Information

  • Changing the terms of living trusts – With living trusts, the trustmaker or grantor will have the power to alter the terms and/or assets of the trust at any point while (s)he is alive and still of sound mind. Having this type of control over a living trust can be an effective way to maintain and manage certain assets/wealth.
  • When the grantor passes away – The death of the grantor will convert the living trust into an irrevocable trust, which means that the terms of the trust can no longer be changed.

Contact a Santa Clarita Trust Attorney at the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman

Are you ready to develop a living trust? Or do you need assistance with any aspect of estate planning or probate? If so, the trusted Santa Clarita trust attorney at the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman is here for you.

You can contact our firm by calling (818) 892-7093 or by filling out the contact form on this page.

From our offices based in North Hills, we provide the highest quality legal services to our clients throughout the San Fernando Valley, Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, and the greater Los Angeles area.

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