The Finest Representation in Estate Planning, Trusts/Wills, Probate, Estate Litigation, Contracts, and all Real Estate Matters

Low Cost Trusts!!



I proudly offer some of the highest quality and most affordable estate plans in the industry.  For $899 you can put your mind at ease and ensure the security of your family by implementing a Living Trust ("Revocable Trust").  See Frequently Asked Questions and YouTube video for more about my estate plan process.  See also my Philosophy & Bio and Home pages for more about my practice.  

A typical estate plan suitable for most families consists of:

     Revocable trust.
  This instrument avoids probate for all assets transferred to the trust; it also can specify distributions to persons over a long period of time and/or upon certain conditions (special needs, maturity, etc).  

     Pour-over will.
  This instrument is a special kind of will designed to work with a trust.  If an asset for whatever reason was not placed in trust during your lifetime the pour-over will makes sure that asset gets ultimately moved to the trust and goes to whom the trust specifies.  A probate will usually be required, so, for that reason it is best to make sure during your life that assets are in trust so that the pour-over will never even gets used.  A pour-over will is merely a backup to ensure that even if an item was mistakenly not placed in trust it will still be distributed per the trust terms.    

     Certificate Of Trust
.  This is essentially a condensed version of the trust specifying the trustee powers.  These are used in place of the trust (for various reasons) when transacting business with an institution such as a bank.  

     Assignment of Assets
.  This document takes all your household items and places them in trust so that your successor trustee has authority over them for proper distribution.  

     In addition to the estate plan documents described above, clients often want/need a power of attorney for both finances and healthcare.      
            The Durable Power of Attorney for finances enables the person you choose as your "attorney in fact" (agent) to transact business for you if you cannot.  Durable Powers of Attorney are only effective up to the moment of death; upon death your agent no longer has any power under that instrument.  Additionally, you can make your Power of Attorney effective only if and when you become incapacitated, or, your Power of Attorney can give your agent authority right away.   
             The Advance Health Care Directive is a power of attorney for healthcare.  In this document you will give your doctor instructions for end of life care, and you will also name an agent to carry out those wishes.  Usually this documents specifies on what terms you want medical care withdrawn and whether you want medication for pain relief should it become necessary.   

    Transfer Deed
.  If you own real estate, for each parcel a deed will need to be drafted to transfer that real property to the trust.  You are transferring the real estate from yourself as an individual to yourself as trustee of your trust.  

Frequently Asked Questions About The Estate Planning Process 

1. Why only $899?
I have been doing high quality low-cost trusts, wills, and estate plans since 2000.  It is a fantastic way to develop loyal customers who come to me with all their legal needs, year after year.  This is a great way to run a law practice -- everyone wins!

2. What Documents Make Up "A Trust"?
As described above, the typical documents in a Revocable Trust are the Trust itself, a Pour-Over Will, Assignment of Assets, Certificate of Trust, and a transfer deed to put each piece of real property in the Trust.  Also, as additional options, there are two powers of attorney: Advance Health Care Directive (for health care), and Durable Power Of Attorney (for finances). 

3. Why not LegalZoom?
The key to estate planning is knowing what family circumstances exist that require specialized attention.  There are very often more of these issues that people realize.  The LegalZoom type of approach is overly general -- it might meet your needs, it might not, but you will never know the difference unless you actually consult with a well qualified attorney.  For most people this "iffy" approach is the opposite of what they really want -- peace of mind.  I've had many clients come to me with trusts they've partially completed online; they always hit issues they cannot resolve and just want closure that they have a proper estate plan for their needs.  Online estate planning is OK, in theory, but in practice it is not specific enough, and, even if it was, there is no way to KNOW that it is specific enough thus leaving you always wondering.  There is a reason online services warn you that they are not representing you or giving you legal advice -- it's "code" for "there are potential issues we are not addressing."    

4. What Is The Process?
We meet twice, about 45 minutes each.  At the first meeting we get to know each other and exchange information about your wishes.  After we adjourn I draft the documents.  A week or two later we meet for a second time to review, sign, and notarized the documents.  The only thing you bring to the first meeting is a copy of the "grant deed" to any real property you own (I need this to draft a new deed putting the property in trust).  If you cannot find a copy of the deed(s) before our first meeting, no problem, we can obtain it in-between meetings.  After the second meeting the only things left to do is record the deeds at the County Recorder's Office, and, arrange your accounts (IRA, 401K, checking, savings, mutual funds, etc.) as I'll direct you (see no. 5 below).

5. How Do Assets Get Into The Trust?
There are three general types of property to think about.
Category A:
Household items such as furniture, jewelry, art, equipment, etc. are transferred to Trust by a document called an "Assignment of Assets" that is included in the plan when we sign.  
Category B:
Real property (houses, land, etc.) are transferred to trust by a deed one included in the plan when we sign.  
Category C
Any type of account, i.e., anything with an account number.  There are two sub-groups within "accounts," each of which is handled differently.  

The first sub-group is any type of qualified retirement account (IRA, 401k, Roth IRA, Keough, etc.), which stays in your individual name with your spouse as the "pay on death" beneficiary, and then the trust may be the second/contingent/alternate beneficiary.  

The second sub-group is everything else that is not in sub-group one.  These include bank accounts, mutual funds, investments, etc.  These make their way into trust by being formally re-titled in to the name of the trust, i.e., the trust will be the new official owner.  For example, if Joan and Dave Smith own the account, then Joan and Dave Smith will go to the bank and change the ownership of the account to "The Joan and Dave Smith Family Trust, Joan and Dave Smith, trustees.  This is a very common thing and banks won't require you to change your bank cards, checks, or anything else.