Living Trusts: Benefits and Why You Should Consider It

Living Trusts: Benefits and Why You Should Consider It

What does a Living Trust do?

A Will comes into play only after you die, but a living trust can actually start benefiting you while you are still alive. A living trust is a trust established during your lifetime. It is revocable, which allows for you to make changes. You will transfer substantially all of your property into your living trust during your lifetime, and any omitted assets can be transferred into the trust at the time of death through the use of a simple Pour-over Will. You should always make a Pour-over Will at the time that you establish your trust.

A living trust will be used as the mechanism to manage your property before and after your death, as well as provide how those assets, and the income earned by the trust, are distributed after your death. If you should become incapacitated or disabled, the trust is in place to manage your financial affairs, usually by a successor trustee, if you were serving as trustee. A living trust is not subject to probate, and therefore, all provisions of the trust will remain private.

Joint living trusts are also possible. They simply combine the assets of a husband and wife into a single trust, governed by a single trust document. However, if estate tax minimization is important (for combined estates which will exceed the statutory limit imposed by Congress), the joint living trust must be very carefully drafted with the help of an attorney in order to achieve the desired goals.

What happens if I don't have a Will or Living Trust?

The legal term for dying without a Will is dying intestate. If you do not specify through a valid Will or Living Trust who will receive your property, state law controls and generally distributes your property to your spouse and/or your closest heirs. This may or may not be what you intended. Furthermore, if you fail to nominate a guardian for your minor children, the state could appoint someone you don't trust as a legal guardian of your minor children. Finally, by failing to appoint someone to carry out your wishes, the state can appoint anyone to be the administrator of your property, and the administrator may have to pay certain fees or post a bond at the expense of your estate, before he or she can begin to distribute your assets.

Forming a Living Trust to Avoid Probate

Getting Started

Getting started is easy. Contact us toll free at (866) NO-PROBATE ,e-mail us at [email protected] or fill in our contact form. And if you need more information, we can schedule a free phone consultation.
But, if you would like to get started on your estate plan immediately, simply complete the Fact Finder form and send it back to our office along with the items listed below in “What Do I Need to Send In.”

What Do I Need to Send In?

To complete your plan, we will need you to gather the following items:

  1. Any existing will, trust, powers of attorney;
  2. Copies of any deeds to real property;
  3. Copies of property tax bills to any real property;
  4. A $350.00 deposit. Please make checks payable to "Law Offices of John E. Trommald."

If you do not have a copy of your deed, our office can do a title search for you for a nominal fee. If you cannot find any other document listed, our office can almost always complete your estate plan without it. By law, our office cannot disclose the information that you provide us to anybody.

Send your completed package to:

The Law Offices of John E. Trommald

13912 Seal Beach Blvd.
Seal Beach, CA 90740

We will contact you to confirm receipt of your documents.

Total Trust Plan Options?

For most services our legal fees are based on the following flat fee schedule:

  • The Total Trust (sm) Plan includes:
  • Two consultations with an attorney
  • A living trust created around your specific needs
  • Durable powers of attorney for health care (Living Will)
  • Durable powers of attorney for property management
  • One deed transfer
  • Pour-over wills
  • Long term care advice/consultation
  • Memorandum of "funding" instructions and documents
  • Free notary for in-office clients

Other Services

AB “Total” Trust Plan (Assets over $5 million) $2,500.00 AB Trust (1)
Pour-over Will (2)
Durable Power Atty. for Property (2)
Durable Power Atty. for Health (2)
Transfer of Deed into Trust (1)
Estate Planning Discussion (2)
Long Term Care Discussion (1)
Gifting Discussion (1)
Meeting with Attorney (2)
“Total” Living Trust Plan $1,395.00 (married) $1,295.00 (single) Trust (1)
Pour-over Will (2) or (1)
Durable Power Atty. for Property (2) or (1)
Durable Power Atty. for Health (2) or (1)
Transfer of Deed into Trust (1)
Estate Planning Discussion (1)
Long Term Care Discussion (1)
Meeting with Attorney (2)
"Total" Trust Plan Review $350.00 (100% of fee will be credited toward any future “total trust planning”)
Will Package $950.00 ( couple) $850.00 (single) Will (2) or (1)
Durable Power Atty. for Property (2) or (1)
Durable Power Atty. for Health (2) or (1)
Additional Deeds $225.00/each
Property in California
Deed of Trust & Promissory Note
Property out of California
Affidavit of Death
Leisure World Stock Transfer
Title Search
Hourly Rate
Litigation Services
$ 75.00/each
Minimum billing rate of ½ hour.

A free 15 minute telephone consultation with the attorney is available for your convenience.

Reviewing & Attesting Your Current Trust

Total Trust Review

A Total Trust Review is a personal 35-point review of your current estate planning documents. You will receive in writing a comprehensive review of your current living trust plan.

Our law firm has reviewed hundreds of living trusts prepared by other attorneys and people calling themselves “estate planners.” The vast majority of these plans included faulty costly provisions and omitted other provisions that could have saved your estate thousands of dollars. We call these mistakes “money-traps.”

We have developed the 35-Point Review to zoom in on these “money-traps” that are hidden in other trust plans and that may be hidden in yours. The strengths and weaknesses of your current plan will be revealed.

Our 35-Point Review is only $350.00 and is 100% fully credited toward the cost of a new Total Trust Plan, should you choose to replace your existing trust.

Total Trust Plan Review Cost

Cost: $350 (100% of fee will be credited toward any future "total trust planning")