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The Purpose and Benefits of a Living Trust

Law Office of Jonathan D. Alexander, Esq.

When it comes to estate planning, creating a Revocable Living Trust can be a smart and efficient way to manage your assets and ensure your wishes are honored. Let’s delve into the key purposes and benefits of establishing a living trust.

Ensuring Your Wishes Are Honored

A Revocable Living Trust allows you to specify exactly how and to whom your assets should be distributed. This can be especially crucial if you have specific needs, such as providing for a loved one with special needs, or if you have other particular considerations for asset distribution. By clearly outlining your wishes, you can ensure that your assets are managed and allocated according to your intentions.

Maintaining Confidentiality

One of the significant advantages of a living trust is the privacy it affords. Without a revocable living trust, your estate may go through probate, a court-supervised process that can make your assets and beneficiaries’ details public record. In California, for instance, probate can take about two years, during which time all your financial and familial information becomes accessible to the public. A living trust helps keep your affairs private and away from the public eye.

Efficiency in Asset Distribution

Another compelling reason to create a Revocable Living Trust is the efficiency it brings to the asset distribution process. Probate can be lengthy and costly, but with a living trust, your assets can be transferred to your beneficiaries without the delays and expenses associated with probate. This streamlined process ensures your loved ones can access their inheritance more quickly and with less hassle.

Impact of Funding a Trust on Taxes

Once you establish a living trust, it’s essential to fund it by transferring your assets into the trust. This involves retitling assets, such as real estate, bank accounts, and investment accounts, in the name of the trust. For example, if Jonathan Alexander creates a trust, his assets would be retitled as “Jonathan Alexander as Trustee of the Jonathan Alexander Living Trust.”

From a tax perspective, a Revocable Living Trust doesn’t significantly alter your tax filing process while you’re alive and capable. The trust’s assets are reported under your Social Security number, and any income or losses are included in your personal 1040 tax return. However, the 1099 forms and other documents will be issued in the name of the trust, reflecting the trustee’s title.

Changes Upon Incapacity or Death

If you become incapacitated, your trustee may need to obtain a new Employer Identification Number (EIN) for the trust. This new EIN signifies that the trust is now a separate taxpayer, and any income or losses will be reported on a 1041 Fiduciary Tax Return. Upon your passing, an EIN will always be required for the trust or your estate, ensuring that all financial activities are properly reported on the appropriate tax return.

Take Control of Your Estate Planning Today

Establishing a Revocable Living Trust is a proactive step toward ensuring your assets are managed and distributed according to your wishes, while also providing privacy and efficiency. If you have questions about setting up a living trust or need assistance with your estate planning, contact me, Jonathan Alexander, your dedicated estate planning attorney. I’m here to guide you through the process and help you secure your financial future. Schedule a consultation today by calling (949) 334-7823 to take control of your estate planning journey.

Client Reviews

The pandemic had me thinking very seriously about my outdated Will, I contacted the Law Office of Jonathan D. Alexander and he quickly eased my mind about all of the details of my estate and outdated will. He handled every detail from end to end and I was able to complete my Living Trust with no...

Joanne T.

I am so grateful to have been able to work with Jonathan. I knew I wanted to have a Living Trust and I had no idea what to expect going into the process. Jonathan was easy to talk to and explained the process thoroughly of what was required. He was patient with my multiple questions and replied in a...

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