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Living Trust:

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In simple terms, a trust is a relationship in which a person, called a Grantor, transfers something of value, called an asset, to another person, called a Trustee. The trustee then manages and controls this asset for the benefit of a third person, called a beneficiary. An asset is any kind of property.

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We would be happy to schedule a free, mini Estate Planning workshop -- on the phone -- to answer your questions and explain all of this in plain English!

To schedule a phone workshop, call 800-891-8189 or send us an email

When you purchase a Living Trust Package (Standard or Deluxe) you will receive both a Living Trust and a Will.  Together these two documents create comprehensive and complete protections for your relationship.   With these documents, YOU get to decide -- not a family member or a court -- who will inherit your property. Here you can also say who will make decisions about your funeral and memorial service, and whether you will be buried or cremated. Without these documents in place, your partner will have no rights of inheritance or decision making.

For more information about Estate Planning in general, click here or ask for your FREE Estate Planning Workbook!


What is a Trust?

 
 

While you are living, YOU are the Grantor, the Trustee and the Beneficiary

A Living Revocable Trust sounds complicated but really, it is very similar to a contract.  When you create a Trust you become the Grantor of that Trust.  A Grantor is just a fancy word for a person who gives something to someone -- like the Genie (from the magic lamp) who grants wishes.  


The Grantor GRANTS

 

Get it?  The Grantor GRANTS (gives) property -- to the Trustee. 

Property (assets) to the Trustee...

 

 

 

And who is this Trustee person you are giving your stuff to?  Why you of course!

Who takes care of it for...

 


 

Your Trust is Living because it takes effect while you are alive.  It is Revocable which means you can cancel it or change your mind about the terms.

When you give stuff to this person called a Trustee, the Trustee has to promise to take very good care of your stuff while you are living and then, when you head off to the great unknown, the SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE (obviously not you) will make sure your property goes to the people or places you want.

the Beneficiary!

 


 

 

Now, why would you want to even DO this?

 

 


 

When you are the Grantor and the Trustee of your Trust, you still have all of the rights of full and utter control.

Because a Trust takes effect as soon as you sign it (while you are still alive -- hence the 'LIVING' trust) and because you did all of the leg work, running around re-titling your assets into your Trust (also called 'funding' your Trust), you have protected all of your property from being subjected to the dreaded PROBATE PROCESS!   

Nothing changes about how you keep your books or pay your taxes.

 

Your Social Security number will remain as the tax ID number on all of your accounts

 


 

As Trustee, you will still deposit, withdrawal, buy, sell, transfer all of your Trust property just as you do now.

The most amazing aspect of this arrangement is that you get to name a SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE to take over -- to step into your shoes, so to speak, as if they were you.  No court is involved, no assets frozen.  This makes the Trust more difficult to contest than a Will which does not take effect until you are dead -- obviously unable to object or protect your partner's rights to inherit. 

 

 


 

As Trustee, you will still deposit, withdrawal, buy, sell, transfer all of your Trust property just as you do now.

This means, if you name your partner as your SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE, as soon as you become incapacitated (or die) your partner will have immediate access to all of your property -- no frozen assets, no probate process! 

 

 


 

 

 Of course, you will need to do the work of funding your Trust -- which can be a hassle.  But compared to the hassle your partner may face without a Trust, it is well worth it! 

 

 


 

 

By the way, this legal maneuvering (creating a trust to "hold" your property) has been used for years by wealthy people.  There is nothing fishy about it.  It is perfectly legal. 

 

 


 

 

Like a Last Will, you can list the person or organization that you want to inherit your property when you die.  Unlike a Will, a Trust does not go through probate -- therefore your assets are not frozen and there are no probate associated court costs, attorney fees  or time delays.  A Trust is also like a Power of Attorney because it gives your Successor Trustee (your partner or another person you 'trust') the right to make financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated.

 

 


 

 

As stated earlier, a Trust takes effect as soon as you sign it.  Contrast this to a Last Will and Testament which does not take effect until you die.  Even if you name your partner as the executor and beneficiary of your Last Will, your partner will not have access to your property until a judge rules that your Will is valid and that your partner has the appropriate authority to do so.  This procedure, called 'probate' can take months or years to complete.  Because lawyers and courts are involved in the process, it can be very costly -- eating away much of your estate and leaving your partner or other beneficiaries with much less than you intended to leave them. 

 

 


 

 

Moreover, since you are not living when your Will takes effect, if a family member should decide to challenge your partner's authority, you will not be there to defend her.  That is why a Will is more vulnerable to a legal challenge than a Living Trust.

 

 


 

 

Even if you have a Trust, you still need to sign a Last Will and Testament to ensure that your partner and not your biological family will inherit your estate. 

 

 


 

 

If you are purchasing a Trust Package, the Last Will included in our packages is a 'pour-over' Will (the phrase 'pour-over' is a term of art which describes how the Will operates.  This phrase does not actually appear anywhere on your document).  In a pour-over Will, your Trust is the beneficiary of your estate.  By providing a pour-over Will in our packages you are able to satisfy your state's requirement of having a Will and also to ensure that your estate will pass through your trust to your partner or other beneficiaries -- AND, avoid probate!. 

 

 
 

 

The Living Trust is included in the Deluxe Living Trust Package and Standard Living Trust Package at no extra charge.  It is not available for purchase as an Individual Document

 

 


 

 

To Order A Living Trust, Will or Individual Document, Click HERE

 

 


 

 

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Legal documents include gay wills, gay trusts and other gay legal documents.  The documents help to protect gay and lesbian rights, gay legal rights even though better protections would result from gay marriage. These documents are designed exclusively for gay men, lesbians, transgendered and transsexual persons, people who identify as queer, homosexual or have an alternative family and/or lifestyle. These documents are not the same as civil unions, domestic partner agreements, marriage equality, etc., but are the best our community can do to protect our loved ones.  Advance directives include living wills, durable powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney and estate planning documents include living trusts and last will and testaments.