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Living Trusts

Living Trusts

At Ourfalian & Ourfalian, our California living trust lawyers are committed to helping our clients find peace and stability through personalized estate planning. A living trust may be the best tool to help you achieve your objectives. If you have questions about living trusts or estate planning strategies in general, we are more than happy to help. Contact us today at (818) 550 – 7777 to set up your completely confidential initial consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney.

Estate Planning in California: What Is a Living Trust?

A living trust is a type of estate planning tool that a person can use to distribute their property and assets to selected beneficiaries after they pass away. As with other types of trusts, a living trust is a three-way relationship. The first party involved is the grantor (the person who created and funded the trust).

The second party, the trustee, is the individual or institution that is responsible for overseeing the trust. Finally, the third party is the beneficiary. There can be multiple beneficiaries of a living trust. Further, you can select both individuals and organizations as your beneficiary. Notably, living trusts fit into two broad categories:

Revocable Living Trust

As the name suggests, a revocable living trust is a type of trust that remains in control of the grantor. An individual who creates a revocable living trust has the power to change the terms at any time—including revoking the trust altogether. Most living trusts are revocable living trusts. If you have any specific questions about revocable living trusts, our Southern California estate planning lawyers can help.

Irrevocable Living Trust

An irrevocable living trust cannot be altered. In fact, the person who creates an irrevocable living trust loses all control over the money and assets placed within it. For this reason, irrevocable living trusts are less common. However, there are certain circumstances in which an irrevocable living trust can be an asset preservation strategy. To learn more about irrevocable living trusts, contact our Glendale office.

What Are Some of The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Living Trust?

A living trust can be a cost-effective, efficient way to distribute property and assets to your heirs. However, living trusts are not the best option for every situation. It is crucial that you understand the benefits and the drawbacks. Here is an overview of the key things to know:


The assets placed within a valid living trust do not have to go through California’s probate process. This can save your heirs a lot of time and headaches. Further, living trusts are private relationships. Unlike probate, they do not become part of the public record.

An additional advantage is you can retain additional control over property/assets with a living trust. For example, imagine that you are leaving money to a grandchild who is about to enter college. Through a living trust, you could distribute funds slowly over a pre-specified period of time.


Living trusts, especially revocable living trusts, offer a number of important advantages. With that being said, a trust has to be funded to be legally valid in California. As a result, there is a higher expense on the front-end to set up a living trust. In some circumstances, you may simply be better off using a will to distribute property and assets.

How To Create a Living Trust in California

Are you considering setting up a living trust in California? There are certain key steps that you need to take to ensure that the trust is valid, enforceable, and effectively achieves your objectives. Here are five things to do when creating a living trust in Los Angeles County:

  1. Consult with a California estate planning lawyer and make sure that a living trust is truly the best option for your specific situation.
  2. Select a reliable individual or entity to act as the trustee.
  3. Choose your beneficiary—and remember, a living trust can have multiple beneficiaries.
  4. Retain an attorney who can draft a declaration of trust.
  5. Transfer the property or assets into the control of the trust.

It is important to emphasize that California requires living trusts to be funded in order to be valid. If you have not gone through the process of re-tilting property/assets, your trust documents will not be accepted. You may be creating a mess for your family. Always work with a living trust lawyer.

A Living Trust Is Not a Replacement for A Will

Every adult in California should have a last will and testament that has been custom drafted to meet their specific needs. Yet, the AARP reports that fewer than half of adults nationwide have a legally valid will in place. For certain objectives, a living trust is a more effective estate planning tool than a will. At the same time, a living trust is not a full replacement for a will. If you are setting up a living trust in Southern California, you should still have a professionally-crafted will in place. If you have any specific questions about wills, our Glendale, CA estate planning lawyers can help.

Your Family Can Rely on Our Living Trust Attorneys

Estate planning is complicated. Depending on your specific situation and objectives, a living trust may or may not be the best option. At Ourfalian & Ourfalian, we have deep experience setting up living trusts in Southern California. When you contact our Glendale law office, you will have a chance to work with a Los Angeles County estate planning lawyer who is ready to:

  • Conduct a comprehensive, confidential review of your estate planning goals.
  • Answer any legal questions that you have living trusts in California.
  • Devise an estate planning strategy designed specifically for you and your family.

Consult With Our California Estate Planning Lawyer Today

At Ourfalian & Ourfalian, our California estate planning attorneys have deep experience helping people and families set up living trusts. If you have any questions or concerns about living trusts, we are here to help. Contact us now at (818) 550 – 7777 for a fully confidential, no-obligation case evaluation. From our Glendale law office, we serve people and families with living trusts throughout Los Angeles County, including in North Hollywood, Burbank, Van Nuys, Pasadena, Granada Hill, and Encino.

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