Fresno, CA asked in Estate Planning for California

Q: What size estate requires a living trust? How much would it cost to change trustee and beneficiary names ion a Living tr

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2 Lawyer Answers
Benjamin W Scott
Benjamin W Scott
Answered
  • Woodland, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Although there is no minimum value needed to create a trust, you want to make sure that a trust is right for your circumstances. One of the most important benefits of a living trust is that assets will transfer outside of probate on your death. In California, estates under $150,000 pass outside of probate, and a trust will probably not make sense. If you have an estate over $150,000, you should see an estate planning attorney to see if a trust makes sense for you. Even if you still have a smaller estate, you should still see an attorney to help you create the best estate plan.

For your second question, it depends on whether the creator (settlor) of the trust is still alive and whether it's a revocable trust. If so, it's a pretty simple process. The settlor just needs to create and notarize an amendment stating that he wishes to change the terms of the trust. You can probably do this yourself, but it's still a good idea to talk to an attorney. It shouldn't take an attorney very long to draft an amendment for you.

Zaher Fallahi
Zaher Fallahi
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California if one owns more than $150,000 in gross estate, it will go through probate, unless there is a trust. The varies based on the size of estate and type of property. In our office, as part of estate planning we transfer all the assets to the trust, including the necessary recording of the real property in the County of situs. It starts at $1,850.

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