Estates don't have to be large to need protection from financial concerns after your death.
Hiring an experienced estate planning attorney to help you determine your best options for preserving and administering your estate is one of the best ways to protect your family and heirs from an uncertain future.
Once a loved one dies, survivors must take some actions to implement the plans that were made:
A living trust is great at eliminating Probate, but there are still things to do at the date of death. The Trust assets need to be inventoried, appraised, and then distributed to the heirs, and tax returns need to be filed. But even with those tasks, a trust administration is much quicker and less expensive than a Probate. Probate avoidance is the main reason to set up a trust.
Most trustees find that they can handle the administration of a trust by themselves; some trustees prefer to hire us to handle the details of trust administration for them. Administration fees are based on the size of the estate. Call our office if you'd like to discuss our trust administration services.
Probate is a judicial process to authorize and implement a Will. A Will is simply a letter to the probate judge, saying, “here is who I want to act as executor and here is who my beneficiaries will be.” A Will requires a probate.
Probate is very good at getting assets to your beneficiaries, and resolving the claims of all creditors. However, Probate has two big disadvantages:
- Probate takes a long time. In California it takes, on average, 8 months to a year.
- Probate costs a lot of money. The probate attorney fees are set by code and are based on the value of the probatable assets; for example, the fee on an estate valued at $800,000 would be $19,000. Moreover, fees are based on the "gross" estate, not the "net." So if you leave a $500,000 house with a $400,000 mortgage, you have only $100,000 of equity, but the probate fees are based on the full $500,000 of value.
Probate almost always requires the services of an attorney. Call our office to discuss our probate services.
David Bromley has over two decades' experience helping people understand how various estate administration and planning options can eliminate probate problems upon your death. When you retain us to provide estate administration services, you will work directly with David Bromley, and you will see why so many satisfied clients have referred their friends and family members to us.
Our areas of expertise:
- Living wills
- Advance health care directives
- Medical power of attorney
- Financial power of attorney
- Probate avoidance
- Pour-over wills
- Joint tenancy laws
- Trusts and estate tax planning
- Probate Administration