CA Estate Planning Blog

Monday, August 19, 2013

Both Married and Unmarried Couples Can Have Trusts

People tend to think that you have to be married in order to have a trust. However, unmarried couples should also have living trusts. 

For married couples, a basic joint living trust is common and will meet all their needs. Both spouses will have control over the whole trust and can revoke the trust at any time. Each person will be a grantor and a trustee of the joint trust. Each person can also decide who will be a beneficiary of their share of the community owned property, and for his or her separate property as well.

However, both married and unmarried couples can create individual trusts. Individual trusts are useful if one spouse or both have a lot of separate property…or if one spouse just wants full control of their own property. Recently married couples can keep their individual trusts in order to maintain their previously acquired separate property.

Do note, however, that jointly owned assets are not very well suited in individual trusts. Spouses who co-own real property will have to record two deeds to transfer half-ownership of their interest into their separate trusts.  


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