Trusts and Small Estates

While estate planning is important for everyone, some people necessarily require more complicated estate plans than others. A recent article discusses whether a trust is necessary for those with smaller estates.

If a person has a small estate, the purpose of a trust is typically to avoid the necessity of probate. Probate is the court-supervised process through which assets in a will must travel before being distributed to a person’s heirs. The most significant costs of probate are often the fees for your attorney as well as the personal representative of the decedent. Often, the fees for each are the same.

Many people wish to avoid probate because of the time and expense associated with it. Assets that are transferred through a trust, rather than a will, do not go through probate. Importantly, having a trust will not always save as much money as people anticipate it will. For example, a person may still need to hire an attorney to ensure that the trust is carried out according to his or her wishes. Moreover, the trustee, like a personal representative, may charge a fee for his or her services.

For expert assistance in planning for your estate, contact us at (626) 696-3145.

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