Many of our clients know that for California residents who own real estate or otherwise have over $150,000 of assets that don’t pass by beneficiary designation, a living trust is an efficient and protective way to transfer wealth to the next generation.
What people often don’t know is that one little-discussed advantage of trusts over wills is that wills become court records – which are available for public access and viewing. This Associate Press article discusses how Ancestry.com has digitized millions of such records for public viewing. That might be a boon to genealogists, but it’s probably not ideal for those seeking to keep information about their assets/liabilities, family members, etc. from the public view.
Living trusts are not required to be filed with the court or any governmental agency, which is a nice bonus in addition to the fact that they also provide better control and save time and money in comparison to wills.