Why Do An Estate Plan Now?

A quality estate plan involves careful consideration of personal wishes as well as detailed compliance with the law. There are several documents which are included in a complete estate plan however, the Living Trust is the most important.

Most People Complete Estate Plans With Living Trusts For Three (3) Reasons:

    1. Reducing costs after death (including avoiding probate fees and minimizing taxes);
    2. Avoiding probate of the estate (which lasts anywhere from six (6) months to over two (2) years); and
    3. Guiding distribution of the estate in a clear, responsible way.

What Is Probate?

Probate involves publishing notices to creditors, appraisals, court hearings, filing numerous forms and other paperwork, and can last from six (6) months to over two (2) years. Although there will be some costs involved with administering your Living Trust when you pass on, the costs are minimal compared to probate fees.

How Much Are Probate Costs?

California probate fees are statutory maximums and start at 4% of the value of the estate, gradually decreasing to ½ of 1% for very large estates. Probate fees cover the range of legal services required to close out a person's estate when they die without a Living Trust.

Examples Of Probate Costs:

Present Value Of Estate:


Estimated Probate Costs:

$23,000 - $46,000

Benefits To Creating An Estate Plan Now

The benefits to creating an estate plan now are that you may save your family thousands of dollars after your death, your family will be spared the additional stress of having to go through probate when they are grieving, and you can be at peace knowing you took care of your affairs and your family exactly the way you wanted.


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Dess A. Benedetto

Family TLC
Family Trust Law Center
1615 Bonanza Street, Suite 209
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Phone: (925) 945-8200 | Fax: (925) 945-8202 | Dessbenedetto@FamilyTrustLaw.com

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This site is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship and is not providing legal advice.
If you need legal advice for your specific situation please consult an attorney in your area.