23rd Feb 2019
Like most other legal issues that must be taken care of, the preparation of a revocable living trust is one that can have a wide range of prices. The factors that can affect this cost include but aren’t limited to; how big the trust is, the number of individuals that may benefit from the trust, the amount of the trust and whether an attorney is used. There are several other factors that can complicate the process, and therefore drive the cost higher.
Should I Hire an Attorney?
This is one of the most asked questions when it comes to trust inquiries. The short answer is yes, you should have a professional in this field prepare such an important document to ensure your wishes are carried out exactly as you like in the event of your death.
The basic cost for an attorney to prepare a trust is around $750.00 on the low-end of the spectrum. This will cover the basic transfer of your home and personal property and a few other assets. However, if you have a substantial amount of assets bringing your net worth to over the $3.5 million-dollar mark, there will be substantial fee increases to assure that all of your assets are properly managed and secured.
If you exceed the $3.5 million dollar mark you can expect to pay upward of $100,000 dollars to assure that your trust is properly prepared. The reason you would be required to pay a higher amount in that scenario, is to assure that your beneficiaries are not held liable for taxes and fees at a later date. This number will increase further if you have any offshore accounts or if you have businesses that will be a part of your estate.
Is There a Difference in a Will and a Living Trust?
There are advantages to having a revocable living trust prepared as opposed to a will. The initial cost of a will is much less than that of preparing a trust. The key word in this case is initial. While the cost may be less to have a will prepared, there are hidden fees that will be incurred at a later date.
It may not be the most attractive option, but it would certainly be better for your loved ones. The fees you may be required to pay now will most likely be far less than those of your beneficiaries at a later date.
For example, a will is held by the attorney and they will act as a probate to execute the will. This will leave fees due that will be taken from your estate that could have been distributed to your beneficiaries. Also, a will once prepared, is not easily altered or changed.
A trust can be changed and even totally revoked if necessary, to protect the assets of the trust holder, should situations arise that need to be changed. Another thing to keep in mind is that a will is public record and can be viewed by anyone who may be interested in your estate.
A trust, however, is far more exclusive and the details of your estate are made available to your beneficiaries only. This way your privacy and that of your loved ones is protected from public knowledge.
Are There Ways to Save Money with a Revocable Living Trust?
The initial cost of a trust is typically more than that of the preparation of a will, however, there are ways to save money when having your trust prepared as well. All of your information should be discussed in depth with the attorney that you have chosen and ensure that you do not leave out or withhold vital information to your attorney.
Keep in mind the fees that you will pay when having your trust prepared, are far less than those that your heirs would be required to pay later. If your intentions are to protect them and leave them a substantial inheritance, then it makes more sense to go ahead and assure that those fees are paid and fully satisfied at the initial preparation of the trust.
Also, assure that the attorney you choose to assist you in preparing your trust is reputable and has an in-depth knowledge of the laws that are specific to the state in which you live.
The purpose of the trust is to assure that your assets are distributed and protected from seizure from outside entities. It is designed to function in your stead upon the occurrence of your death.
Should you have any questions regarding revocable trust filing, please contact us at Tompkins Law at 1-714-385-0044. Our staff is experienced in these matters and will assist you with any concerns you may have.
Call us today for a free and confidential consultation.