If you’ve set up a living trust. Great job. You’ve done a great thing for your family. But don’t leave that great thing unfinished and turn it into a not great thing. What do I mean? Probate.
Your estate will go through probate, even if you have a living trust, if you haven’t transferred your assets to your trust.
Our firm handles a lot of trust administration cases. In most cases, the children of a deceased parent hire our firm to administer their parent’s trust. Sometimes, the parent has failed to transfer assets to the trust, which could lead to probate, big attorney fees and a long court process. But if the parent had some form of writing showing intent to include the assets in the trust, the family could avoid probate.
Usually intent is shown with a schedule attached to the trust or by provisions in the body of the trust identifying the assets. With written evidence of intent, quite often a California judge will issue an order transferring the assets to the trust, and the family avoids probate.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen several cases when there was written evidence, but the attorney ignored it so he could take the case through probate. Here’s the dirty little secret –