Do not own real property?

If you do not own real property, a Living Will may be a less expensive alternative to a Revocable Living Trust .

A Living Will is used when a person dies. The requirements for a Living Will vary by state, so it is recommended to hire an estate planning lawyer to prepare your Living Will.

A Living Will has the following major benefits

  1. You name the beneficiaries of your estate.
  2. You name the guardians of your minor children.
  3. You name who will be in charge of administering your Living Will as your “Executor.

The biggest negative of a Living Will is that the document must pass through Probate Court through a process called Testate Probate.

There are three major negatives to Probate Court

  • california probate courtTime: A typical Testate Probate takes 12 to 16 months to complete.
  • Cost: A Testate Probate typically involves expensive statutory attorney’s fees.
  • Lack of Privacy: The Living Will becomes available for the public to see, so you lose the privacy you would enjoy if you had a Revocable Living Trust

The reason a Living Will has to be submitted to Court is because a Living Will can be a simple handwritten document, so the Court must deem the Living Will to be an authentic document. On the other hand, a Revocable Living Trust can transfer assets without Probate Court involvement.

Generally speaking, a Living Will makes sense for a person who only has personal property (e.g., household items, personal belongings, automobiles, etc.) and financial accounts. If this is the case, personal property can generally be transferred without court involvement. Additionally, financial accounts may be transferred by having either (1) a co-account holder or (2) beneficiaries listed on these accounts. In this situation, the Living Will would likely not be submitted to Probate Court since the assets can transfer without court involvement.

If you own real property in Los Angeles CA, then a Revocable Living Trust will likely be a better choice for you since this document typically avoids Probate Court.

For additional information, check out Living Trust and Living Will.

And if you reside in Covina or Temple City, please contact Estate Planning Lawyer Tony at (626) 858-9378 or request a free consultation.

Further reading on Living Will

Power of Attorney vs Living Will
Importance of a Living Will
What is a Living Will or an Advance Health Care Directive?