Revocable Living Trusts can negate the need for your estate to go through a formal probate proceeding after your death; in Washington State probate costs are fairly modest, so whether or not to set up a Revocable Living Trust is really a matter of personal choice. However, Revocable Living Trusts are extremely popular in states such as California, where probate costs are very high; therefore, if you live in Washington, but own real estate in California, you should seriously consider establishing a Revocable Living Trust if you have not already done so, to avoid the need for a California probate proceeding after your death.
Establishing a Revocable Living Trust
When establishing a Revocable Living Trust, an individual or couple typically name themselves as Trustee(s) and as the beneficiaries, and then with certain exceptions (such as IRAs), title most or all of their assets in the name of the Trust. Upon the death of the Trustor (or the surviving spouse, if created by a couple), the remaining Trust property passes to the successor beneficiaries named in the Trust document, such as the children and/or grandchildren of the original Trustors. A Revocable Living Trust may also include provisions for a successor Trustee to manage your assets in the event you become incapacitated.