While there are many reasons for having an estate plan in place when you die, the benefits to having a trust are becoming increasingly apparent. For instance in California, if you die intestate, or even with a will, your estate must go through the probate court in order to transfer title to your assets.
Now, anything filed in court is public record, which used to mean anyone could go down to the court and access information that you may want to remain confidential. That public record is becoming much more readily accessible as recently, several counties in California have started scanning documents. These scanned documents are accessible to anyone with access to a computer and the internet, and is often searchable by last name.
Now, this may not seem like that big a deal, but for many people it’s a real concern since many documents filed with the probate court contain information they would much rather remain confidential—including account numbers, names of beneficiaries, even information about who will inherit money, the amounts, even the contact information of the beneficiaries!
This can all be avoided by the use of a trust in your estate plan. A trust is a private document that can remain private after you pass away. It does not have to be filed with the court, which is why people have a trust as a part of their estate plan. Trusts are for anyone who wants their private matters kept private after they die. So, if you don’t want your estate subject to this kind of exposure, then it’s a good idea to look into having a trust drafted to protect your family.
Any one of our highly qualified estate planning attorneys can assist you setting up a trust to protect you and your family. Please visit our website at www.falkandcornell.com for a complete list of our services and view our profile.