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How Much Does a Living Trust COST? Estate Planning Tips

If you’re like a lot of people, you may know you need a Living Trust, but you’re not really sure why, what a Living Trust does, or how it protects you and your heirs. Chances are, you have a lot of questions, especially when it comes to cost!

Questions like: How much does an estate planning attorney charge to create a California Living Trust? When I see a California estate planning attorney, will they charge me by the hour to create a Living Trust? Isn’t a Living Trust just a form you fill in? Is there a downloadable Living Trust template? Are there any cheap Living Trust options? And aren’t all estate lawyers the same?

That’s why, in this legal webinar, we explain the ins and outs of boilerplate v. customized estate planning and tell you some SERIOUS DANGERS of bad estate planning.

Many people find the Living Trust to be the best foundational estate planning vehicle for their needs because it allows you to be in full control of your estate and to protect your heirs from probate. A Living Trust is especially important for families with children who need to appoint guardianship, families with a special needs child or children, blended families, people with real estate, and anyone who has over $150k in total assets (and remember–that’s TOTAL assets–not just cash in the bank!).

The fees for creating a Living Trust can range from $10 to $7,000 (or more if your estate planning attorney charges by the hour!) so it’s very important that it’s done correctly. A good estate planning attorney will discuss these and other important issues with you when creating your revocable Living Trust:

  • Your will
  • What a Durable Power of Attorney is and why you need one
  • What an Advanced Healthcare Directive is and why you need one
  • HIPAA forms
  • POLST form
  • Living Wills
  • Prop 13
  • Death, Income, Capital Gains taxes
  • How to fund the trust and how to retitle your assets

A savvy estate planning attorney will see around corners and will discuss what will happen to your Living Trust if tax laws or probate laws change. Or what will happen if all your trustees predecease you. They’ll discuss the difference between a grantee, trustee, beneficiary, and explain what trust assets are. They’ll also discuss issues like life insurance and planning for assets outside your trust.

Estate Planning and Trust Administration attorneys, James L. Cunningham and Tasha Jahn from CunninghamLegal give a great overview of what Living Trusts cost, how Living Trusts work and why you need one in this legal webinar.



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