Trusts

Providing simple and effective Trusts for people in the East Bay, Oakland, and all of the San Francisco Bay Area – California

Trusts

What is a Trust?

A Trust is a legal document, similar to a Will, that specifies who you want your property (and money and investments) to go when you pass away.

What is the purpose of a Trust?

The purpose of a Trust is to avoid California probate, which is a public process conducted through the court system which is expensive and invites creditors and challengers to your estate. A Trust is PRIVATE administration of your estate so in most cases, your estate will pass to your loved ones quietly, privately, and in the comfort of our law offices. Plus, you will save your family a ton of money with a Trust because you do not have to put your estate through the court process known as probate.

Does everyone need a Trust?

No – but if you live anywhere in the San Francisco bay area, Oakland, or the San Francisco East Bay, chances are a Trust is the right choice for you because the value of your estate is likely over $150,000, especially if you own any real property.

Do I lose control over my property if I create a Trust?

No – not the kind of Trust we would do for you. The type of Trust you will have is called a “Revocable Living Trust”, sometimes called a “Living Trust”. This type of Trust is 100% changeable by you and you remain 100% in control of all your assets until you either die or lose your capacity to manage your finances. Then your Trust would carry out your wishes.

Who will be the Trustee of my Trust?

You — if you are married or have a registered domestic partner — you and your spouse. You would remain in 100% control of your Trust until you either die or lose capacity. At that point the successor trustee named in your Trust would resume management of your assets or if you died, would distribute your assets to the beneficiaries you name in your Trust. Remember, the Trust works similar to a Will when you die but a Trust is better.

How much could I save with a Trust instead of probate?

That depends on the value of your estate but let’s say for example you have an estate worth $1,000,000, which is fairly easy to have if you are in the Bay Area. If you do NOT have a trust, it will cost your loved ones approximately $46,000 to probate the estate, will take 12-18 months to complete, and will expose all that you own to the public view.

If you HAVE A TRUST, everything is done in the privacy of our offices with your successor trustee and the cost is minimal, especially compared to the cost to probate an estate. Your loved ones are given a copy of the Trust and then your property is distributed to them per your final wishes. No one that understands the difference would chose probate. That is why so many people have Trusts – they just make so much sense.

Can my loved ones avoid probate with a Will?

No – never. Once a person dies or loses capacity (sound mind), they cannot avoid probate unless they have a valid Trust. The only way to avoid probate is to have a Trust prepared in advance before you die or lose capacity. If you are reading our website, you are obviously interested in getting your affairs in order for you or a loved one. Thus —don’t wait. Once something happens, even something like a hospital operation, you may be deemed lack the capacity to make a Trust. Your families wealth is in jeopardy so don’t delay and reach out to us to see how inexpensive it is to create a Trust. We make the process simple and easy for you. We guide you step by step.

for a Free Quick Help Guide on the most common QUESTIONS and most common MISTAKES people make with “Living Trusts”.
Some additional common questions:
  • Can I leave my Trust to anyone I want? —Yes. This is completely up to you and we will help you though the process and put into legal words the people to whom you want to leave your assets.
  • What if a loved one has a special need, has a substance abuse problem, or not good with money? —This is not a problem. We generally put language in our Trusts so that the value of your estate is preserved when you pass it to a loved one with special needs.
  • What about future generations? —We can talk you through the options if you have grandchildren or maybe don’t think you will have grandchildren.
  • What if I want to disinherit someone? —This is not a problem. There is very specific language that must be used in order to effectively disinherit someone. We will take care of that for you and also provide you with the option to change your mind, providing you have soundness of mind.
  • What about a Power of Attorney or stating who will make medical decisions for me? —Here too our legal documents consider all of those decisions and we will help you make those decisions and then put your wishes into legal language.

Need to talk with a lawyer or have an emergency, call 925-953-2024 or click here

from our Trusts clients.

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