Do I Really Need an Estate Plan?
I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of people talking about “Living Trusts” and estate planning, and you may be wondering about all of the details. Right off the bat you may be wondering “do I really need an estate plan?” The simple answer is that you don’t have to do anything. If you do nothing, however, others will be forced to do things for you, and worse still is that the law and the courts may mandate an outcome in the absence of your action that you would find undesirable. In addition, time and money will be lost if you don’t act. As you can see – inaction will cost you!
The main reasons to have an estate plan created are to:
- Avoid probate (to prevent loss of time and money)
- Plan for incapacity
- Control who gets your estate on your passing
- To name a guardian for your children
- To avoid taxes
Get your free 30 minute consultation
Click Here to Contact us today to take advantage of our free 30 minute consultation. Estate planning can save both time and money in the long run compared to the alternative of probate. Further, proper estate planning is the best way to ensure your wishes are carried out in the manner you wish them to be carried out.
Click Here to download our eBook called “Top Things to Know Before Creating an Estate Plan or Hiring an Attorney”. With this eBook you will learn:
- * What happens if you don’t plan at all
- * If you really need an estate plan
- * How you may be able to keep costs down
- * How to avoid certain problem areas
- * Why to avoid certain services
- * A bit about the author Dan Powell
A sturdy, decisive, well thought-out Revocable Living Trust centered estate plan is a superior method of controlling how your hard-earned assets are managed and distributed in accordance with your wishes.
What Does Probate Cost?
California Probate Code sets the rate currently as:
- 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
Keep in mind that the value of the estate is based on the value of the asset, and not its equity. Therefore, if you own a home valued by the appraiser at $500,000 and you have a mortgage balance of $400,000 – the value is not $100,000 but the full $500,000. Also, for example, let’s say you also have other property such as accounts and a car or two (worth an additional $150,000) that raise the total value of the estate to $650,000.
So the attorney probate fees for the estate break down like this:
- 4% of the first $100,000 = $4,000
- 3% of the next $100,000 = $3,000
- 2% of the remaining $450,000 = $9,000
For a total fee of $16,000
So given everything we know now, let’s see what the potential costs will be for a simple $650,000 estate. This can be any combination of probate property, but let’s say the home is $500,000 (not difficult in California) and an additional $150,000 in probate property. Please keep in mind that fees given are approximate and may vary by location, changes in laws, or other factors.
- $400 Court filing fee
- $650 appraisal fee
- $150 publication fee
- $16,000 attorney fees
- $16,000 executor fees (potential)
- $400 fee to file Petition for Final Distribution Total of $17,600 to $33,600
But If I Create A Revocable Living Trust, Will I Lose Control of my Property?
What Do I Get With an Estate Plan Prepared by William Daniel Powell?
You will get an affordable plan, at a competitive rate, and the peace of mind that comes with a plan built especially for you.
Your exact situation and desired distribution will dictate the means to be used, as well as the ultimate cost of the plan. However, every estate plan I create contains the Revocable Living Trust, Certificate of Trust, Trust Summary, Pour-Over Will, Durable Power of Attorney, California Advanced Healthcare Directive, funding instructions for various assets, and the funding of your residence with a new deed and Preliminary Change of Ownership Report prepared by my office to put the residence into your trust. All documents are attorney prepared, and all advice is given by an attorney. Legal Zoom won’t help you with funding or provide legal advice on such a personal level! Further, I will review the estate plan I create for you every three years, upon your request, with you for no additional charge*. Moreover, I am more than happy to discuss future changes to your situation, or family situation, as they arise and how it may impact the plan I drafted for you, at no additional charge*.
*Modifications will be at an additional charge.
Affordable Plans, Competitive Rates, and Peace of Mind
With so much riding on your decisions, you and your family cannot afford mistakes.
An attorney, like myself, who practices estate planning is the only person who can properly guide you to ensure your wishes are carried out and give you the peace of mind that comes with a properly executed and implemented estate plan.