A will is one of the most basic California estate planning documents, and everyone should have one to make sure there is no question about what would happen to your assets if something happens to you. But there are situations when having a revocable trust in addition to a will is imperative; here are six of them:

A Trust Avoids Probate or Conservatorship. A trust will bypass the probate process, saving the people you love time and money. To carry out instructions in a will, a probate must be opened in your local county court leaving your family to dealing with the Court if you get hospitalized or after you die.

Privacy. Because a will goes through probate in California, it is a public record, and everyone is privy to this information. A trust is private.

Blended families. If you are part of a blended family, a trust can give you flexibility to make sure children from prior marriages are provided for in the way you want.

Providing for a person with special needs. If you have a child or another dependent with special needs, a trust commonly known as a Special Needs Trust can protect assets for a special needs person without jeopardizing their qualification for government benefits. A will allows you to transfer assets to a special needs person, but does not protect those assets.

Asset protection. If you want to protect the assets you leave loved ones from creditors (including bankruptcy and divorce) a trust is a great way to do it.

Out-of-state property. If you own property in another state, you can more easily transfer ownership through a trust than a will. Transferring out-of-state property in a will usually means additional legal expenses because you could have probate in multiple states adding to your loved ones’ administrative burden.

If you would like to learn more about the use of revocable trusts in California estate planning to pass on what you care about to the people you love, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $750 for a Family Wealth Planning Session, but because this planning is so important, I’ve made space for the next two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call today and mention this article.