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What is a Living Trust?

When you set up a Living Trust, you are the Trustor; anyone you name within the Trust who will benefit from the assets in the Trust is a beneficiary. In addition to being the Trustor, you can also serve as your own Trustee (Original Trustee). This allows for flexibility in setting up the Trust.

Within a Living Trust you typically provide the name of a Successor Trustee who will take over the management of the Trust if you die or become incapacitated. After your death, your Successor Trustee both terminates the Trust and distributes the assets to the beneficiaries that you named in the Trust, or the Trustee continues to maintain the Trust on behalf of your beneficiaries according to the terms of the Trust.


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Dale A. Arens is an Estate Planning and Probate attorney located in Encino, CA, specializing in trusts or living trusts, wills, power of attorney for financial affairs, advanced healthcare directives or living wills, and various transfer documents.