Living Trusts: FAQs (Pt. 3)

March 8, 2015

Wrapping up our blog series Living Trusts: FAQs, below are some more helpful responses to common questions about living trusts in California.

More Important Info about Living Trusts Q – Do I still need a will if I develop a living trust?

Living Trusts FAQs
While these FAQs on living trusts in California are informative, contact San Fernando Estate Planning Attorney Darrell C. Harriman for experienced help developing living trusts.
A – Most likely yes. While living trusts can manage certain assets for you, they will not cover other aspects of your affairs that wills can. In particular, unlike living trusts, wills can have provisions to cover things like end of life directives, future guardianship of minor children, etc.

So, if you are thinking about developing a living trust, it’s probably also a good time to put a will – and a comprehensive estate plan – in place with the help of an experienced lawyer.

Q – Are there any drawbacks to having living trusts?

A – There can be. In fact, the most notable disadvantage to setting up living trusts can be the fact that trustees, who are not under direct court supervision, can end up not acting the best interests of grantors and/or beneficiaries. In the worst cases, this could result in unethical trustees doing things like misappropriating trust assets, stealing from the trust, etc.

While these situations can be frustrating and maddening, there is legal recourse to hold such trustees accountable (such as pursuing breach of fiduciary lawsuits).

Q – Who should I choose as the trustee for my living trust?

A – When setting up living trusts, many people appoint themselves as the trustee. If, however, you are too busy to manage a trust and/or you want experienced help with this effort, you can choose someone else to be the trustee (and you will have to name someone else to be the successor trust to manage the trust if you become incapacitated or at the point when you pass away).

While good trustees will generally be people who you trust and/or who you are close to, specifically, these people can be:

  • Spouses or domestic partners
  • Children, parents or siblings
  • Other relatives or family friends
  • Colleagues or business associates
  • Professional fiduciaries.
Q – Do I need a lawyer to help me develop living trusts?

A – Yes. Living trusts are legal documents, and the California State Bar “urges you to seek advice only from professionals who are qualified to give estate planning advice” when you are considering or are ready to develop a living trust.

Santa Clarita and San Fernando Estate Planning Attorney at the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman

Are you ready to set up a living trust or put other estate planning options in place? If so, the trusted Santa Clarita and San Fernando estate planning attorney at the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman is here for you. For more than three decades, our San Fernando estate planning attorney has been dedicated to providing his clients with personalized, highly responsive service, as well as superior representation for their important legal matters.

To find out more about how we can help you, let’s talk about your case and legal needs today. 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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