Can I get by with just a Last Will & Testament or do I need a Living Trust? This is one of the most common questions I hear from clients. One of the primary reasons to have a trust is to avoid the court process of probate and its high costs. In California, statutory probate fees and commissions for the attorney and executor (Cal Prob Code 10810-10811) are much higher than the typical hourly rates charged by professionals in other states. Here are the current rates that are paid to both the attorney and executor.
* 4% of the first $100,000 of the gross value of the probate estate
* 3% of the next $100,000
* 2% of the next $800,000
* 1% of the next $9 million
* .5% of the next $15 million
So, for example, a modest home and financial assets of $500,000 would equate to a whopping $26,000 in statutory probate fees and commissions (plus court costs, appraisal fees, etc.). Even a simple estate would typically take at least a year to settle, and in many cases, much longer. A well drafted and properly funded trust bypasses all court involvement in the settlement of the estate. And this only scratches the surface of the benefits of trust planning. Give us a call today for a free consultation.