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Estate Planning & Living Trust FAQs

Q: What Is Included In The Base Plan? A:

  1. Living Trust
  2. Declaration of trust
  3. Deed for residence prepared for living trust
  4. Pour over Wills
  5. Power of Attorney for Health Care
  6. Power of Attorney for Financial
  7. Property Assignment
  8. Community property agreement
  9. Memorial Instructions
  10. Personal Property distribution declaration
  11. Successor Trustee Instructions
  12. Asset funding instructions

Q: How Much Will Probate Cost My Estate In California?

A: On a  $3,000,000 estate = $86,000 (minimum) Probate Fees:

On a $1,000,000 estate = $46,000 (minimum) Probate Fees:

On a $500,000 estate = $26,000 (minimum) Probate Fees:

There often are extraordinary fees and expenses on top of this along that include administrative fees, appraisals and other miscellaneous expenses.

If you're a real estate investor who owns properties in several states you could face multiple Probates in each and every state you hold property costing your loved one's thousands upon thousands of dollars.

Q: Is It Worthwhile For Me, I Don't Have Children To Leave Anything To?

A: Yes it is. Just because you do not have children does not mean you will avoid death, old-age, injury and disease. A complete plan ensures that you not only deal with your departure but the potential to be incapacitated due to injury or disease. Millions of Americans each year suffer a permanently debilitating stroke or other injury and should have someone named to take care of their finances and medical care.

Q: Is There Anything Bad About A Living Trust?

A:No! There is nothing bad about a Living Trust. It is a traditional and well-proven planning tool that has been used in one form or another for over 400 years. Any problems that people have with a properly-prepared Living Trust have nothing to do with the Trust itself. The problems occur when property or assets are left out of the Trust because of the failure to change titles and ownership to the Trust. Once these things are done, your Living Trust is easy to maintain. The only reason for not having a Living Trust is if your total estate value falls below the minimum limit for Probate. In California it is $100,000.

Q: Does Transferring Property Into A Living Trust Cause A Reappraisal Of The Property So That Property Taxes Are Raised?

A:Typically no. Revenue and Taxation Code 62 specifically states that a transfer into a Revocable Living Trust does not cause reappraisal or revaluation of the property for tax purposes.

Q: Can I Sell Assets Or Add New Assets To My Living Trust?

A: Yes, you can. You can sell assets and add new assets yourself without requiring a change of the Trust. In essence, you can do anything you want with your property while it is in the Trust. You retain complete control over your assets.

Q: What About Adding Other Persons On My Accounts, Deeds, Etc.?

A:It is not a very good idea to add another person on the title to your property or your accounts (this includes parents and children). It could cause you and your family some very serious problems possibly defeating the purpose of your Living Trust or exposing you to a lawsuit.

Q: Does A Living Trust Provide Any Protection From Income Taxes Or Litigation?

A: No, it does not. A Living Trust is a Revocable Trust and may be dissolved by you at any time. It does not provide any protection for your assets against lawsuit or tax attachment. You do not have to file a separate tax return for your Trust.

Q: When Will I Need To Update My Living Trust?

A: It is a good idea to review your Living Trust at least once a year with the professional that set it up for you. As a general rule, you should change your Trust anytime it no longer communicates your wishes and intent. Any major changes in your family, such as marriage, divorce, death, birth, etc., could justify a change in your Trust. You retain the power to make changes at any time to the heirs or successors of your Living Trust by simply entering an amendment to your Trust.

Q: How Do I Fund My Trust?

A: You place your assets into your trust by changing title on accounts and real property into the name of your Living Trust. This is a  very important step that must be done to truly avoid the Probate process. It is simple to do and important.

Q: If I Have A Living Trust Do I Also Need A Will?

A: Yes, you will need a “Pour Over Will”, which automatically “pours over” into your Living Trust, at your death, any assets you forgot to put into the Living Trust. Those forgotten assets will have to go through Probate, but will go directly into your Living Trust after Probate.

Q: What Is Meant By An A-B Living Trust?

A: An AB Living Trust is a Trust for married couples. It provides for an individual statement of your separate assets and allows you to double your Estate Tax exemption at the second spouse's death from $2,000,000 currently to $4,000,000.

We have over 160 strategies to accomplish the elimination or reduction of the four types of taxes that can haunt you i.e., estate, gift, income and capital gains so the prices can vary.

We also offer VIP client packages to fit your needs.