Instead of selecting a specific person as beneficiary to my estate, how do I just set up a Trust just in my name?

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Instead of selecting a specific person as beneficiary to my estate, how do I just set up a Trust just in my name?

What are the ramifications of doing this? My estate includes insurance, retirement money, material position (furniture, jewelry, car, etc).

Asked on May 17, 2013 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

Nathan Wagner / Law Office of Nathan Wagner

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

To set up a valid trust, you must designate a beneficiary (or beneficiaries) for the trust. You can be the trust's only beneficiary during your lifetime, but you will still need to identify another beneficiary for after that. So you can't really avoid selecting a person (or people) as heirs to your property after your death by just setting up a trust.

Trusts can be good estate planning tools for many people. One benefit can be avoiding the time and expense of probate court. You can set up your own trust by yourself, but one size does not fit all. It is easy to make mistakes that will cost you or your heirs a lot of time and money. It is a good idea to talk to a lawyer about your estate plan. 


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