Leslie Daff, JD, MBA, a Laguna Beach Trusts Lawyer, is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Probate, and Trust Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. Leslie has been named for five consecutive years by OC Metro Magazine as one of the region's top lawyers. She has been granted the highest rating of "10/10 Superb" by independent attorney rating service Avvo. She has also received the highest designation of "AV Preeminent 5 out of 5" by legal directory Martindale Hubbell, which signifies her peers rank her at the highest level of professional and ethical excellence. In October, the State Bar of California Board of Trustees appointed Leslie to serve as one of nine commissioners on the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Advisory Commission to advise the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization about its program to certify legal specialists in the area of estate planning, trust and probate law. Leslie was also selected by her peers for inclusion in Southern California Top Rated Lawyers, published by Law.com and the Los Angeles Times in November.
REVOCABLE LIVING TRUSTS
People often use a revocable living trust to avoid probate, for tax planning, and to control the manner and timing of distribution to beneficiaries. Unlike a will, which is a public document filed with the court, the trust is private. Property held in the name of the trust is not subject to probate proceedings.
You need to transfer your assets (e.g., real estate) into the trust, generally with the assistance of an attorney. You continue to control and manage the assets as you do now, but upon your incapacity, your named successor trustee manages the trust assets on your behalf without a court having to appoint a conservator. Upon your death, your successor trustee distributes the assets to your beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust.