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Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Do I Need to Update My Schedule "A"?
Since assets change so frequently we recommend updating your schedule "A" annually. The Schedule A is extremely helpful to your Successor Trustee in determining where the assets of your estate are located should somthing happen to you. You do not need to amend your trust to change Schedule A, simply send us the update and we will include it with your trust without cost.
Do I Need to Put This (account/asset) in The Trust? It's Very Small and Not That Important.
Except for retirement accounts, pensions, and a small checking account to pay your household expenses, we usually recommend that title to all your assets be placed in the trust. This is true for two reasons. At death, the asset is in the trust and is available to be distributed as part of your trust estate immediately. Even if the asset is under $100,000 (and not currently subject to probate) your successor trustee may still have some work to do to get control over that asset after your death if it is not titled in the trust. This means time and cost that could be avoided easily.

In the event that you have been certified incapacitated, the successor Trustee also has the ability to manage accounts and pay bills for you, but only if the account from which you wish to be paid is in your trust.

Remember your trust is the most effective way to deal with your assets at death or incapacity, but the assets must be correctly titled into the trust. Don't forget to take title to any new assets that you acquire in the name of your trust.
I'm down here at the (title company, bank, brokerage house) and they want to see a copy of my trust. What should I give them?
In all cases where you are required to show legal proof that you have a trust, you should use the Certification of Trust that you signed at the same time you signed your trust. Remember, this document tells any other interested party all the information they would need to know about your trust without disclosing confidential information to them. In some cases, you may need to firmly explain to them that the certification of trust is a legal document, and takes place of the trust for any purposes they may require.
What Should I Do With My Annuity/Life Insurace/IRA?
If you have an annuity, 401k, SEP, Keough, retirement or pension plan that has a death benefit and you are married, you may want to name your spouse as the primary beneficiary, with the trust as a contingent or alternate beneficiary. If you are single, then the trust should usually be named as primary beneficiary. For married couples, this will insure that a surviving spouse has a "rollover right".  Exceptions are common to these general rules, so please consult us.
I Am Moving Out Of State, Is My Trust Still Valid?
Yes. Your trust will remain valid if you move out of state. However, your new State's laws may have an impact on your estate plan, so we recommend that you meet with an estate planning attorney in your State to determine if Changes need to be made. You will also need a new Advanced Healthcare Directive and Finacial Power of Attorney since these are California documents and therefore must be redone.