Is a Living Trust Right For You?

 

Learn more by listening to a 9 Minute, Toll-Free, Telephone Living Trust Presentation 

Call (866) 927-8552 x1
(also in Spanish x2)


Heritage Living Trust, Financial Consultants - No License Required, Scotts Valley, CA

What People Are Saying About Heritage Trust

"I have a close personal friend, who is now 90 years old. She had a trust from Heritage Living Trust created about 3 years ago and since that time has been diagnosed with dementia. A week ago, after checking herself out of the hospital, the public guardian filed for conservatorship, asking the probate court to appoint them, the public guardian, as her new caregiver/conservator. My friend has no family left, but due to her Trust which was created while she was of sound mind, declared her wishes as to who she wanted to serve as her conservator if the time ever came to when she would need to be conserved. Normally, a non-relative conservatorship would be fairly difficult to implement, but in this case, the named individual in her estate plan came to the court and told the court that they desire to serve as my friend's conservator and will accept that responsibility. This morning, the probate attorney and the public guardian agreed that the named individual in the estate plan created by Heritage has precedence, and that the trust was sufficient to place that individual as her conservator.

If it were not for her Heritage trust, she would be another case added to the already overloaded government workers conservatorship pile. Instead, an individual who she loves, and who loves her, is now fulfilling my friend's final wishes and providing for her the end of life care that she deserves after having worked hard for the past 90 years."       

R. Jones...California 

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"Thank you Heritage Staff and Associates for providing the type of customer service a consumer only dreams of. I am so impressed with the accurate and timely response to my many questions and how everything is explained in terms I can understand. Most impressive is the ability to make changes to our trust at any time without an extra charge. I am confident that Heritage Trust has given me the security my family needs for the future."
 Z. Gibbs...Colorado

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"In 2003 when I was looking for someone to do my Living Trust, I found HeritageLivingTrust.com . I met with the staff at their office and we started the process. The service was and is above and beyond my expectations. In 2007, after marrying again, my husband and I had them set up a new A-B Trust, which we have amended several times since then, at no extra cost. We have been completely satisfied and send them Kudos for all their patience, hard work and professionalism." 
Chris and George S., Pacific Grove, California

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    Questions & Answers to Common Living Trust Issues

    Q. Is there anything bad about a Living Trust?
    A. No! There is nothing bad about a Living Trust. It is a traditional and well-proven planning tool that has been used in one form or another for over 400 years. Any problems that people have with a properly-prepared Living Trust have nothing to do with the Trust itself. The problems occur when property or assets are left out of the Trust because of the failure to change titles and ownership to the Trust. Once these things are done, your Living Trust is easy to maintain. The only reason for not having a Living Trust is if your total estate value falls below the minimum limit for Probate in your state. In most states that is about $30,000.

    Q. Does transferring property into a Living Trust cause a reappraisal of the property so that property taxes are raised?
    A. Absolutely Not! Revenue and Taxation Code 62 specifically states that a transfer into a Revocable Living Trust does not cause a reappraisal or revaluation of the property for tax purposes.

    Q. How should property and accounts be titled?
    A. As a general rule, all of your property should be titled in the name of your Trust as follows.

    John and Susan Doe Family Trust,
    Dated January ____ 20_
    John and Susan Smith, Trustees

    Q. Can I sell assets or add new assets to my Living Trust?
    A. Yes, you can. As Trustee, you can sell assets and add new assets yourself without requiring a change of the Trust. In essence, you can do anything you want with your property while it is in the Trust. You retain complete control over your assets.

    Q. What about adding other persons on my accounts, deeds, etc.?
    A. Never add another person on the title of your property or your accounts (this includes your parents and children). It could cause you and your family some very serious problems, possibly defeating the purpose of your Living Trust or exposing you to a lawsuit. Most people add other persons to their accounts to either avoid Probate or to feel secure that their adult children could take care of things should they become incapacitated. The LIVING TRUST enables you to accomplish this by simply naming a responsible adult child or person to act as your Trustee or Durable Power of Attorney at your death or incapacity. Should your Trustee go through a divorce, bankruptcy, or litigation, their affairs will not affect your assets or interfere with their responsibilities to assist you, due to the fact that your Trustees do not have title to any of your assets placed in Trust. Their only role is to act as a fiduciary administrtor looking out for your benefit. In any event, they would not come into play as Trustees until your death or incapacity. You would be your own Trustee until you die then your spouse would continue as Trustee until they die.

    Q. Does a Living Trust provide any protection from Income Taxes or Litigation?
    A. No, it does not. A Living Trust is a Revocable Trust and may be dissolved by you at any time. It does not provide any protection for your assets against lawsuits or tax attachments. You do not have to file a separate tax return for your Trust. It does provide unique protection in other areas. If liability protection is a concern, you should contact Heritage to talk about other effective alternatives which may be used to protect your assets from attachment.

    Q. When will I need to update my Living Trust?
    A. It is a good idea to review your Living Trust at least once a year with the professional that set it up for you. As a general rule, you should change your Trust anytime it no longer expresses exactly what you want. Any major changes in your family, such as marriage, divorce, death, birth, etc., could justify a change in your Trust. If your Successor Trustees or Guardians can no longer fulfill their responsibilities, you should make changes accordingly. You retain the power to make changes at any time to the heirs or successors of your Living Trust by simply entering an amendment to your Trust. You can do this yourself without the help of an attorney.

    Q. How do I fund my Trust?
    A. You place your assets into your trust by changing the name on all of your titled assets into the name of your Living Trust. i.e. savings accounts, money markets, stocks, mutual funds, CDs, annuities, life insurance, bonds, and your fixed assets such as real estate, This is a very important step that must be done for your assets to truly avoid the Probate process. It is very important, and simple to do. Heritage will draft real estate deeds.

    Q. Can Heritage Trust prepare my Living Trust?
    A. Most certainly, yes. Heritage Trust has specialized in producing high-quality Trusts for professionals and estate planners since 1989. It is all we do. You may now receive the finest trust in America directly from Heritage Living Trust. We will confer with you over e-mail or telephone, as you prefer, then we will produce your Living Trust exactly to your specifications. Every Heritage Trust is prepared and delivered within 45 days. You will also receive necessary changes to your trust FREE for the life of your trust. In addition, our e-mail hotline is always open for your ongoing questions and assistance at no additional cost. Your one-time Trust fee covers it all. For further information click on the tab or contact your local Heritage Independent Agent or E-mail Heritage Living Trust.

    Q. If I have a Living Trust do I also need a Will?
    A. Yes, you will need a "Pour Over Will", which automatically "pours over" into your Living Trust, at your death, any assets you forgot to put into the Living Trust. Those assets will have to go through Probate, but will go directly into your Living Trust after Probate. All Heritage Living Trusts contain a "Pour Over Will".

    Q. Can I appoint one of my children as the Trustee for my Living Trust?
    A. Yes, you can. Usually you remain the Trustee during your lifetime and your children take over at your death. Keep in mind that when you appoint someone other than yourself as Trustee you are giving them the power to manage your assets in the Trust and you give up control over your assets. You cannot name a minor child as a Trustee, however.

    Q. What is meant by an A-B Living Trust?
    A. An A-B Living Trust is a Trust for married couples. It provides for an individual statement of your separate assets and allows you to double your Estate Tax exemption at the second spouse's death. This provision is incorporated into every Heritage Living Trust.

    Q. Are Living Trusts legal in every state?
    A. Actually, Living Trusts are legal in any country using English Law. Every state in the union recognizes the Living Trust, and you may move from state to state with little or no modification of your trust. Some states prefer certain wording of specific documents, but they do not invalidate the documents you have in your trust. If your residence state should change, Heritage Trust will make free changes to your trust for the life of the trust. We do not do Trusts in Louisiana because they operate on Napoleonic Law.

    Q. How do we end our Living Trust?
    A. When you die and all the assets in the trust are distributed, the trust will end. If you retain assets in the trust after your death for distribution to your heirs over a number of years, the trust will remain active until such time as your instructions dictate the end of the trust or all assets are finally distributed. This could happen within weeks or take a few years, or decades. It depends on how you express your wishes in the trust.

    Q. Can a Living Trust buy and sell assets in the trust?
    A. Yes, you actually do business in the name of your trust. You can buy, sell, trade, or give away your assets. It all depends on you, the Trustee. You have complete control of your assets and can do anything with them after the trust is formed that you could do before the trust was formed.

    Q. Can Living Trust be contested like a Will?
    A. Usually not. A Living Trust contains language that makes it almost impossible to contest, even by an heir. It states that if an heir is not happy with their inherited share of the assets and wishes to contest the trust, they will receive nothing! A former spouse also cannot break a trust, so long as all assets are properly funded into the trust.

    Q. Do I have to file a special tax return for a Living Trust?
    A. No, you continue to file a personal 1040 tax return as you always have, using your social security number. A Living Trust, being revocable, does not need a tax identification number and does not file a tax return of its own. As we have stated, it also does not trigger a reassessment for property tax when you transfer real estate into it.

    Q. Does a Living Trust protect me from creditor attachment of my assets?
    A. Yes, it contains a spendthrift clause which protects you from attachment by creditors of trust property at death. A Living Trust provides no protection against lawsuits or judgments.