Estate News --- Observations of a Trust and Probate Attorney

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

L A Times Got It Wrong

The Money Talk Column of the LA Times by Liz Pulliam Weston on Sunday March 28, 2010 responded to a question by a reader.  The question is from a son who cannot find a signed copy of a revocable Living Trust prepared by his parents.  His father is now suffers from dementia and his mother does not know where the trust might be.

This question was what should they do.  The main asset is the house.  Before spending hours looking for the trust which was the advice given, they need to check the title of the house, with the county recorder.  If title has been changed into the trust they will then know a trust was prepared.  But if title is not in the name of the trust there is no reason to keep looking for a trust.

A trust will only control the property that is titiled in the name of the Trustee of the Trust.  Therefore, it may not matter if they find the trust it may not avoid probate.

If title is in the name of the trust you still may be able to avoid probate even if you cannot find the trust.

If title is not in the trust than we address the question of how to avoid probate even though dad has dementia and may not be able to sign a trust.

This is an example of a situation trying to do it yourself when there are too many things that can go wrong.  People may not want to take the time and spend the small amount of money on an attorney who would have a copy of the signed trust.

Besides there are many reasons in addition to avoiding probate to prepare a comprehensive estate plan.  One of the most important reason is Because You Care Enough.

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Brock, Robinson & Associates assists clients with Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Special Needs Planning, Pet Trusts, Probate & Estate Administration, and Family Business Preservation in Chino, California as well as Chino Hills, Inland Empire, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Montclair, Diamond Bar, West Covina, Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Claremont Fontana, Riverside, Colton, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Orange, Brea, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Hacienda Heights, Eastvale, Norco, Mira Loma, Alta Loma, Upland, Rialto, Highland, Loma Linda and Grand Terrace in San Bernardino County, Los Angeles County and Orange County.

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