A frequent question that comes up when doing estate planning in my Newport Beach, California office is why should one pay for a trust, when a will is so much cheaper. My response is are you thinking long-term or short-term?
If you are thinking short-term, a will is always going to be cheaper than a trust. The cost, however, comes at the end, because you have virtually guarantied that there will be a probate of that will. Probate fees will far exceed the cost of any trust.
Probate fees in California are set by statute. As an example, if you have an estate valued at $500,000.00 that is subject to probate, the statutory fees for the attorney are $13,000.00. That is a number of times more expensive than the cost of establishing a trust. Continue Reading