Creating a California trust can be an effective estate planning tool. At The Law Offices of Daniel Hunt, we offer clients estate planning seminars that introduce the various types of trusts and their purposes. Many of our clients use trusts when creating an estate plan in order to avoid the expenses of using a probate court. Trusts have become more popular than ever in estate planning. Individuals can tailor the terms of their trust to meet their unique needs and financial situations.
If you would like to set up an estate plan but do not know where to start, we can help. Our attorneys have helped many Sacramento residents create effective and thorough estate plans. We can discuss the different types of trusts available to California residents and help you decide on which trust or trusts are right for you and your family. Our attorneys also assist clients in the management of trusts. We offer a no-cost initial consultation to the successor trustee(s) in which we go over the process of trust administration. Contact our Sacramento estate planning office today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how our law firm can help you.
WHAT ARE TRUSTS?
California trusts are written legal documents that allow a trustee to manage assets on behalf of the beneficiaries of the trust. The creator of the trust is known as the settlor. The person or people who manage the assets within the trust are called the trustees. Beneficiaries are the people who will receive the assets of the trust.
The transfer of assets depends on the type of trust created by the settlor. The trustee may pay beneficiaries part of assets overtime or the assets may transfer to the beneficiary upon the settlor’s death. Settlors can structure their trust in a variety of different ways. Settlors have an enormous amount of control as to when and how beneficiaries may access the assets in the trust.
THE MANY BENEFITS OF CREATING A TRUST
Living trusts have become particularly well-used in California. Many estates use a trust to eliminate potentially exorbitant probate costs. By placing your assets into a trust, you can avoid the months that it often takes for probate courts to distribute assets according to a will. In addition to saving your family time and money by avoiding a lengthy probate process after your death, trusts offer several other advantages.
CALIFORNIA REVOCABLE LIVING TRUSTS
Revocable living trusts are a commonly used type of trust in California estate planning. These types of trusts are often referred to as family trusts or living trusts. Revocable trusts transport the owner of the trust’s assets upon the passing of the settlor. Typically, a parent will create a revocable living trust and transfer assets into the trust during their lifetime. The settlor typically has the ability to move assets in and out of the trust and make changes to the trust during his or her lifetime. In a revocable living trust, the settlor can revoke or cancel the trust at any time up until his or her death. Revocable trusts give the settlor flexibility in his or her ability to make changes to the trust.
CALIFORNIA IRREVOCABLE TRUSTS
Irrevocable trusts are designed for long-term asset management. These types of trust are also commonly used in estate planning. In an irrevocable trust, the settlor of the trust does not have control or ownership of the property held in the trust. Irrevocable trusts offer settlors the benefit of asset protection. Most creditors of the settlor typically cannot access the assets held within the trust because the settlor himself or herself does not have access to the trust. Some exceptions exist, however. Irrevocable trusts are still susceptible to child support claims, federal tax claims, alimony claims, and California state tax claims.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO CREATING AN ESTATE PLAN?
The process of creating an estate plan is much simpler and faster than many clients anticipate. Here are the usual steps involved in creating an estate plan:
- Schedule Initial Consultation and complete our intake form.
- Discuss your estate planning wishes with one of our attorneys.
- Create Estate Plan & review your draft documents.
- Execute Estate Plan in front of our Notary Public.
- Our office transfers your real estate to your trust with the County Recorder by deed.
- Contact your financial institutions to transfer desired assets to your name, as trustee of your trust.
- Your Estate Plan is in Effect!
- Store your estate planning binder in a safe place & instruct your successor trustee to contact our office if any issues arise
We offer complete estate planning packages for a flat-rate fee.
Most of our clients choose a Trust-based estate plan, which typically includes a Living Trust, Advance Directive, Pour-Over Will, Financial Power of Attorney, Certification of Trust, and various other supporting documents. The cost range for our Trust-based estate plans is generally $1800-2200 for a single person and $2000-2500 for a married couple.
A Will-based estate plan can be appropriate for very small estates and includes a Will, Financial Power of Attorney, and Advance Directive. The cost is $500 for a single person or $1000 for a married couple.
Deeds to transfer real property title into trust generally cost $200; discounts are available for multiple transfers.
If a Special Needs Trust is needed for a loved one with a disability, the cost is $1500. A Grantor Trust costs $3,000. Amendments to Trusts start at $350.
Please contact our office to schedule a no-cost consultation with an attorney for an exact quote that matches your estate planning needs.
Our firm belongs to ARAG Legal Insurance network and many other EAPs. Check with your plan provider for information regarding your individual benefits.