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Using a Trust to Avoid Probate

   Many people opt to place their property in a trust during their lifetime, as part of the estate litigation process. This helps to avoid the additional costs incurred by putting the property through probate. A trust created in the lifetime of the settlor (person who drafts the trust) is called an Inter Vivos Trust, or a "Living Trust."  

   Having a Living Trust will allow you to avoid probate. One of the reasons people seek to avoid probate is that there are additional expenses involved with the transfer of the settlor's property after their death. Additionally, probate is very time consuming as there are substantial legal requirements and steps that must be met prior to the distribution of property. Therefore, placing the property in trust will avoid any delay related to distributing the property through probate. Additionally, having a trust may protect the privacy of the settlor's beneficiaries (persons who inherit the property). In a formal probate proceeding the will is lodged with the court and all the beneficiaries are made public, whereas in a trust would avoid the publicity of beneficiary names.

If you have questions about trusts or probate in California, you should consult with an experiencedLos Angeles estate litigation and probate attorney
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