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Los Angeles Living Trust Attorneys

What is a Living Trust?

A Living Trust is a vital component of an estate plan, and part of estate planning documents prepared for you while you are alive. The attorneys at can advise you regarding the nuances of trusts in Los Angeles. In order for a Trust to work properly, you must transfer most of your assets to your living trust. Title to some assets cannot be transferred to the trust, such as IRA accounts. While you are alive and well, you are the Trustee of the Trust. Since you are the trustee, you manage the day-to-day operations of the Trust while you are alive and well. Normally, while you are alive and have capacity, the Trust is revocable. This means that you have full control over the assets and that can spend all the money in the Trust, revoke or cancel the Trust, amend or change the terms of the Trust, and change any of the beneficiaries of the Trust. You select one or more successor trustees in your Trust document. The successor trustee is the person or persons who will manage the Trust after you are no longer able to do so.

Why prepare a Trust?

In the event of your incapacity or death, the successor Trustee steps in and manages the Trust for you. If properly funded, the selection of the successor trustee is a very helpful estate planning tool in avoiding a conservatorship proceeding. The successor Trustee can give you income and principal for your benefit while you are alive. Normally, the primary successor trustee is your spouse, if you are married. For most unmarried persons, the Successor Trustee can be one of a child, another person, or a bank.

Probate Avoidance and Cost Savings

Assets which are properly transferred to the Trust normally escape Probate. Estate Planning can result in a significant savings to your heirs. Probate Fees in California are Statutory and Extra-Ordinary and can range between two percent and ten percent of your estate.

Tax Planning Opportunity

In case of married persons, the Trust can take advantage of the Marital Deduction and can be set up to save a substantial amount of estate taxes. Each person is allowed to transfer a certain limit during their lifetime, or after their death, tax-free. In 2007 ans2008, the amount that can pass without Federal Estate Tax is $2,000,000. In 2009, this amount is increased to $3,500,000. For 2011 and 2012, the amount is increased to $5,000,000 which is portable by the spouses.  This amount changes to $5,430,000 for 2015.

Portability has requirements, which if not met prevent the survivor from using the decedent's unused exemption. When one spouse passes away, the Trust is divided into two SubTrusts. One Trust is called the Decedent's Trust and the other Trust is called the Survivor's Trust. An election to use the decedent's unused exemption has to be made. The Decedent's Trust contains the deceased spouse's marital share of the assets. The Decedent's Trust becomes irrevocable on the death of the first spouse. To protect the Decedent Spouse's wishes, the surviving spouse cannot change this portion of the Trust. However, all income of the Decedent's Trust will normally be paid out to the surviving spouse. The principal of the Decedent's trust is available to the surviving spouse if he or she needs it for his or her health, education, support or maintenance. When the surviving spouse passes away, the balance of each SubTrust is paid out to the beneficiaries of that Trust.

The surviving spouse's share is called the Survivor's Trust. The Survivor's SubTrust remains revocable by the surviving spouse. The surviving spouse can spend all the assets in the Survivor's Trust, can amend or change that SubTrust, can change the beneficiaries, and can revoke or cancel the Trust. The entire income and principal of this SubTrust are paid to the surviving spouse. When the surviving spouse passes away, the remaining balance of the Survivor's Trust is paid out to the beneficiaries of the Survivor's Trust.

One benefit of AB Trust planning is that both spouses can make use of the Exemption Equivalent Amount, thus taking advantage of a significant tax savings, and also to insure that the decedent's wishes are complied with by the surviving spouse..

For most people, the main benefit proper Trust planning is that the estate can avoid Probate. The heirs can benefit by between two and ten percent of the gross estate by proper estate planning. Additionally, an estate plan can eliminate a substantial amount of time taken in Probate Administration.

This articles and our e-course are not intended to replace specific advice of an attorney and is intended to be educational only. We highly recommend that you meed with a qualified attorney for specific advice regarding your estate and for professional preparation of all legal documents.


Call for a Free Living Trust Consultation with our attorney and lawyer in Los Angeles:


Living Trust Attorneys in Woodland Hills Ca

Living Trust Attorneys in Los Angeles Ca


Main Office:

21550 Oxnard St. #300

Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Phone:  818. 340. 4479
Fax:      818. 340. 7952
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West Los Angeles
11400 Olympic Blvd., Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Tel: 818-340-4479

Toll Free: 800-300-9977

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19800 MacArthur Blvd., Suite 500
Irvine, CA 92715
Tel: 818-340-4479

Toll Free: 800-300-9977    
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LAX area
6601 Center Drive West, Suite 500
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Tel: 818-340-4479

Toll Free: 800-300-9977

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Downtown Los Angeles
445 N. Figueroa St., Suite 2600
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Tel: 818-340-4479

Toll Free: 800-300-9977
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450 North Brand Blvd., Suite 500
Glendale, CA 91203
Tel: 818-340-4479

Toll Free: 800-300-9977
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225 South Lake Ave., Suite 300
Pasadena, CA 91101
Tel: 818-340-4479

Toll Free: 800-300-9977    
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Problems with joint ownership of home with your children

Protecting the surviving spouse's inheritance

Unequal distributions to children? Are you sure this is the correct choice?

Real Estate transactions and trusts

Incorrect titling of assets can have unexpected results

Conservatorships in California

Updating your will or Trust

What every spouse needs to know when her husband dies

Dementia, Alzheimer and Parkinson's and the Law

California Probate Fees And Costs

Recent California Probate & Trust Case Laws

How to Avoid Probate in California

More articles

Living Trust Attorney

Living Trust Information

Living Trust Newsletter


Conservatorship Information

Conservator E-Course

Executor E-Course

Successor Trustee E-Course

California Probate Code 13100-13101: Affidavit of Small Estate

Counties Served:

Los Angeles County

Orange County

Ventura County

Santa Barbara County

San Diego County

San Bernardino County

Living Trust Attorneys help residents in nearby San Fernando Valley Cities:

Los Angeles


Woodland Hills

West Hills

Sherman Oaks




North Hollywood


Van Nuys

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Living Trust Attorneys in Woodland Hills Ca

Living Trust Attorneys in Los Angeles Ca

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