You, Your Family, and Living Trusts: It’s Time for a Reality Check

You, Your Family, and Living Trusts: It’s Time for a Reality Check

Just 42% of Americans have created a Will or Living Trust. It’s easy to put this off–it’s an unpleasant reminder of our own mortality. But Covid-19 has become a reality check, and there’s a new urgency to create a Living Trust. This is especially important for aging family members.


As your parents grow more frail, it’s time to talk about a Living Trust

Your parents may have created a Living Trust 20 or more years ago, but there’s a likelihood that it hasn’t been updated since then. This was the case with my own parents. They were in their early 90s, with a growing number of health problems. When my brother asked them about their Trust, my stepfather opened up a cabinet and 20 years’ worth of documents literally flew out it.


This was a very tentative time, because we were now flirting with the possibility of testamentary capacity–a growing legal concern. Fortunately, we were able to uncover their 20-year old Living Trust. A lot had changed in 20+ years, including a death and some sizeable investments. We all breathed a sigh of relief when we got this legal document updated, signed and notarized. After they died, my brother stayed involved, and it was much easier for him to manage their estate than to assume the role of administrator if we’d had to Probate it.


Does anyone else know where their Living Trust is?

If that Trust is updated and in order, someone in the family needs to know where the Trust is located. Unlike a Divorce or Deed, a Trust is not filed with the courts or county. If you can’t find it, it doesn’t exist. At Guideway, we organize and carefully prepare a hard copy of your Trust. We also give you a soft copy as a pdf file. It’s a good idea to share the pdf file with a trusted family member. When you want to make a change to your Trust, it’s easy for us to amend this.


What about your extended family?

Here in the Bay Area, many of us live with and/or are caring for extended families. Do you have an elderly aunt, uncle or grandparent, a close family friend? Are you the go-to person, the one everyone turns to with questions about business or financial matters? How likely is it that you’re going to be stuck with executor duty when your loved ones die? Now is the time to talk to your elderly relatives about creating a Living Trust and getting other life-planning documents in order.


We make creating a Living Trust easy

Our Living Trust package includes a Power of Attorney, an Advance Healthcare Directive and a Will. If you have children under 18, it means that you can select their Guardian rather than having the court appoint one for you. We guide you through it and we prepare the legal documents. We’re now working virtually via Zoom and phone. Schedule an appointment at Guideway today.


We service the entire East Bay and North Bay areas

Berkeley, El Cerrito, Richmond, Pinole, Alameda, San Leandro, Castro Valley Newark, San Lorenzo, Concord, Alamo, Danville, Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Discovery Bay, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Livermore, Tracy and Fremont. Our clients also live in the Napa Valley, Benicia, Vallejo, Martinez, Fairfield.