While it can be a difficult topic to approach, everyone must consider planning what will happen to their assets and loved ones after they die. Trusts are one of the ways that people choose to protect their interests and provide for their loved ones. This can include proactively setting up a living trust, which is a type of agreement that can be used to manage your valuable assets during your lifetime and distribute them after your death. From ensuring your residential property is left to a certain heir to having your business interests protected, estate planning is essential to safeguard your assets. An experienced Corona estate planning attorney can help you create the right trust for your needs and ensure that it is properly funded.


At the Law Office of Christopher P. Walker, you’ll have access to extensive professional experience and legal knowledge. Attorney Walker helps clients in Corona create trusts that will work best for them and their families. He knows that when it comes to trusts, there is no “one size fits all” solution. He takes the time to get to know his clients and their specific needs before recommending estate planning options.

How Does a Living Trust Work?

A living trust, otherwise referred to as a revocable trust, is an estate planning measure created during your lifetime and can be revoked or modified at any time. This type of trust is often used to manage assets and property and to provide for the protection and distribution of those assets after your death.

The process of establishing a living trust typically starts with the transfer of your assets into the trust. Once the assets have been transferred, you will then name a trustee who will be responsible for managing the assets in the trust. You have the option to name yourself as the trustee, or you can name someone else, such as a family member or friend.

Once the trust has officially been created and activated, you can then start to reap the benefits of having a living trust. These benefits can include avoiding probate, protecting your assets from creditors, and ensuring that your wishes are carried out after your death.

Once you pass away, the trustee you named will be responsible for distributing the assets in the trust according to your wishes. If you named yourself as the trustee, your successor trustee will be responsible for distributing the assets. At this point, the living trust becomes irrevocable, which means that it can no longer be modified or revoked due to your death.


The top advantages that entice people to create living trusts can include:

  • Avoiding probate: One of the biggest advantages of having a living trust is that it can help you avoid probate. Probate is used to formally validate a will and distribute a person’s assets after they die. It can be a long, tedious, and expensive process, so many people choose to avoid it if they can.
  • Managing assets during your lifetime: Another advantage of having a living trust is that it allows you to manage your assets during your lifetime or appoint someone to manage them for you. This can be especially beneficial if you become incapacitated and are unable to manage your own affairs.
  • Protecting your assets: A living trust can also help you protect your assets from creditors. Once they are in the trust, they are typically protected from creditors because the trust is considered an entity separate from you.
  • Minimizing estate taxes: A living trust can also help you minimize estate taxes. When you die, your estate is subject to federal and state estate taxes. However, if your assets are in a trust, they may be exempt.
  • Ensuring that your wishes are carried out: Finally, one of the most important advantages of having a living trust is that it can help ensure that your wishes are carried out after you die. If you have minor children who still need a high level of care, a living trust can be used to ensure they are financially taken care of. You can also use a living trust to specify how you want your assets to be distributed after you die. This includes your most prized possessions, such as a residential property, vehicle, or something more niche like an art collection or heirlooms.


If you are considering a living trust, it’s important to seek out the help of an experienced attorney. The benefits that these lawyers bring to the table are invaluable, as they will be able to help you navigate the often-complex world of estate planning.

An attorney can help:

  • Determine if a living trust is right for you: Not everyone needs a living trust. An experienced attorney can help you understand the pros and cons of setting up a living trust and help you determine if it’s the right move for you.
  • Draft the documents: If you do decide to set up a living trust, an attorney can help you draft the necessary documents. This includes the trust agreement, which outlines the terms of the trust, and the deed, which transfers ownership of your assets to the trust.
  • Assist with funding the trust: One of the most important steps in setting up a living trust is funding the trust. This involves transferring ownership of your assets from yourself to the trust. An attorney can help you with this process and make sure that it’s done correctly.
  • Answer your questions: Finally, an attorney can answer any questions you have about estate planning, including setting up and maintaining a living trust. They can also help you understand the tax implications of having a living trust and how it will impact your estate.

The average Californian does not have the legal background to handle these affairs independently. Fortunately, the profession of trusts and estates lawyers is here to serve each resident of the golden state and ensure that no asset or family member is left behind.


When meeting with a living trust attorney for the first time, it is advisable to bring the following items:

  • A list of your assets: This includes everything you own, such as your house, car, bank accounts, investments, and life insurance policy. These will be carefully analyzed to determine what can and should be allocated to the trust.
  • Your debts: Bring a list of your debts for your attorney to review. This includes any mortgages, credit card balances, and the balances of any loans. Without this information, it may be difficult to establish your trust to avoid future disputes.
  • Your will: If you have a will, make sure to bring a copy of it with you to your meeting. Your attorney will review your will, which will help them better understand your wishes. This enables them to assist you with your estate planning and creating your trust.
  • Your power of attorney: You should also bring an official copy of your power of attorney documentation when you meet with your estate planning lawyer. This will help your attorney understand what powers this person has and how those powers will be affected by the trust.
  • Your health care directive: If you have a health care directive, this needs to be addressed at the forefront of your trust conversation. This is to ensure that your health care agent knows your wishes regarding your medical treatment and that these wishes are carried out in the event you can no longer make decisions for yourself.
  • Your birth certificate: Make sure to bring a copy of your birth certificate with you to your meeting, as well as other common forms of identification that will validate your identity to the lawyer.
  • Your marriage certificate: If you are married, make sure to bring a copy of your marriage certificate. This is required because, in some cases, your spouse may need to be named as a co-trustee or beneficiary and your attorney will need to verify your marriage.
  • Your tax returns: Finally, make sure to bring copies of your most recent tax returns. The reason why your attorney needs to see these is to get an idea of your current financial situation and to determine if there will be any tax implications as a result of setting up your trust.

These items will help your attorney better understand your financial situation and ensure that they can properly advise you on setting up a living trust.


If you are considering setting up a living trust, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you through the process. The Law Office of Christopher P. Walker has years of experience helping Californians with their estate planning law needs and can help you set up a living trust that meets your unique needs. Attorney Walker is an estate planning litigation and trust lawyer who deeply understands the benefits and nuances of estate planning, and he will not rest until you have the best possible plan. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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