Wills and Trusts

Most people, especially those with real property, should have a will and a living trust. A trust is a document which allows a trustor, the trust creator, to specify how he wants his possessions to be distributed after his death. The trustor transfers his personal and real property to the trust, which is supervised by a trustee. During the life of the trustor, the trustor typically will be his own trustee. After the trustor(s) die, a successor trustee will take over the responsibility of administering the trust for the remaining trust beneficiaries, which usually will be the trustor’s children, grandchildren or other family members.

The trust often is referred to as a  living trust, because the trust lives on after the trustor(s) die.  One of the benefits of a trust is it avoids the expense and inconvenience of probate, because the trust, which now holds the deceased trustor’s property, lives on after the trustor’s death. 

The trust documents also include a will, called a pour over will; the pour over is so-named because it catches any property that may have been left out of the trust, or which may have been acquired after the will’s creation, and leaves – or pours – it into the trust.

The trust documents also include an advanced health directive. In the health directive, the trustor tells his doctors what level of medical treatment he wants them to take on his behalf should he become incapacitated, and unable to communicate with his doctors.


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