Attorney Fees for a California Living Trust. How much to pay?

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One of the most important questions when considering getting professional help for preparing your estate planning documents is…how much is it going to cost? All of the services offered by AttorneyFee are quoted on a flat fee, that includes a Revocable Living Trust in California and most other states in the United States. This fee includes preparing the standard paperwork as well as facilitating the filing or other processing with the appropriate court or agency. Our flat fees also includes unlimited communication by email. Fees quoted do not include any court filing fees or other costs.

A living trust is similar to a Will in that it lets you control who gets your property when you die.

The primary benefit of a living trust is that it can help your beneficiaries avoid the expense and delay of probate of the assets transferred to the living trust before your death.

Probate is the court-directed process of distributing a person’s assets and possessions after death. The probate court governs the distribution of your estate according to the instructions of your will if you left one, or if you did not, according to your state’s laws of intestate succession.

At death, most property must pass through probate before it can be inherited. However, property transferred to a living trust prior to death does not. This is why most people prepare a living trust – to avoid probate.

Living Trust Cost in California

Revocable Living Trust  (Individual) For one individual $250
Revocable Living Trust  (Couple) Living Trust for married couples $399
Revocable Living Trust +Estate Planning package (Individual) Includes Trust, Pour-over Will, Certificate of Trust, Healthcare Directive, Financial Power of Attorney and estate folder $299
Revocable Trust + Estate Planning Package (Couple) Includes joint trust, 2 Pour-over Wills, Certificate of Trust, 2 Healthcare Directives, 2 Financial Powers of Attorney and estate folder $450
Revocable Trust or Restatement of Revocable Trust (Couple) Trust or Trust Restatement only (you must have an existing trust) $375
Special Needs Trust Designed for beneficiaries with physical or mental disabilities. $600
Irrevocable Medi-Cal and/or VA Planning Trust $600
Trust Transfer Deed and Preliminary Change of Ownership (California property) $100

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Benefits of a Living Trust in California: Beyond Avoiding Probate

Living trusts can be incredibly valuable estate planning tools, especially in California where probate can be lengthy and expensive. While avoiding probate is a major benefit, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Here are some key advantages of having a living trust in California:

1. Smooth and Swift Asset Transfer:

  • Assets in your trust avoid probate, meaning they pass directly to your beneficiaries without court involvement.This expedites the process, allowing your loved ones to access funds and property quickly.

2. Privacy and Discretion:

  • Probate court proceedings are public records. A trust keeps your estate details confidential, protecting your family’s privacy during a difficult time.

3. Incapacity Management:

  • If you become incapacitated, your designated successor trustee can manage your assets on your behalf,eliminating the need for a conservatorship, another potentially lengthy and expensive court process.

4. Flexibility and Control:

  • You can specify when and how your beneficiaries receive their inheritance, including setting up conditions or trusts for minors. This allows you to control how your assets are used and ensure your loved ones are well-cared for.

5. Potential Tax Advantages:

  • Depending on your specific situation, trusts can offer tax benefits like asset protection from creditors, reduced estate taxes, and qualification for certain government programs.

6. Peace of Mind:

  • Having a living trust in place offers peace of mind knowing your wishes will be carried out and your loved ones are protected. It can remove stress and uncertainty from a potentially emotional time.

Beyond California:

These benefits extend beyond California’s probate system. A living trust can be helpful in any state, simplifying asset transfer and providing flexibility for your estate plan.

Remember:

  • Consulting with an estate planning attorney is crucial to ensure your living trust is tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.
  • Living trusts are not one-size-fits-all, and individual circumstances will determine their overall benefit.

By understanding the potential advantages, you can make an informed decision about whether a living trust is right for you and your family.

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Quantifying the Value of a Living Trust in California:

 

Probate Avoidance Savings:

  • In California, probate fees can range from 3% to 7% of the total estate value. For an estate worth $500,000,probate fees could reach $35,000 – a significant sum that could otherwise be passed on to your beneficiaries.
  • A living trust bypasses probate, potentially saving your heirs these hefty fees and allowing them to inherit the full value of your assets.

Faster Access to Assets:

  • Probate can take months, even years, to finalize. During this time, your beneficiaries may face financial hardship if they rely on accessing inherited funds for living expenses or medical care.
  • Assets held in a living trust pass directly to beneficiaries without court involvement, typically within weeks or even days. This can provide much-needed financial relief and stability during a difficult time.

Example:

Imagine John leaves behind a $200,000 estate, including a house and cash savings. Without a living trust, his family might face:

  • Probate fees: $6,000 to $14,000
  • Probate delays: Access to funds delayed by months or even years

With a living trust, John’s family could:

  • Save: $6,000 to $14,000 in probate fees
  • Gain faster access: Receive inherited funds within weeks, potentially avoiding financial hardship

Beyond Numbers:

The value of a living trust goes beyond financial savings. It offers peace of mind knowing your loved ones are protected and have access to resources when they need them most. It also simplifies the inheritance process, sparing them from navigating complex legal proceedings during an emotional time.

Remember:

These are just estimations, and the exact value of a living trust will depend on your individual circumstances and estate size. However, hopefully, these quantifiable benefits help illustrate the potential impact of avoiding probate and gaining faster access to assets through a living trust in California.

California Living Trust Document Assistance

In a nutshell, you create your living trust, you then transfer ownership of your assets to the trust which you manage as the trustee and then those assets pass to your designated beneficiaries upon your death. In addition, if you become incapacitated or no longer want to manage your trust assets, your named successor trustee can take over the management of the assets for your benefit and then distribute them in accordance with your wishes upon your death.

Some examples of California Counties we serve: San Diego, Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo County and Yuba County.