revocable trusts and wills in california

A Will vs a Revocable Trust in California

Everyone should have a will designating who they would like to receive their assets, following their demise. In California, however, a will may not be the most efficient testamentary instrument. Even if a California resident has a will, if they own more than $150,000 in assets in their individual name, the estate must go through probate to receive their inheritance. The threshold is significantly lower if the individual owns real property in California. Assets held in a revocable trust are jointly owned, are held through a revocable transfer deed, or have a beneficiary named are not generally subject to probate.

In California, probates are public record. Probate can take a minimum of six months to a year and is often costly depending on the value of the assets owned by the deceased person at death. For this reason, many advisers recommend a revocable trust in California. A revocable trust is a legal arrangement. You transfer your assets to a trustee (yourself) to hold the assets for your benefit during your lifetime. At your death, the successor trustee will administer your estate according to your wishes. Generally, revocable trusts are private because they are not administered through the court system, and they are often cheaper and take a shorter time to administer than the probate process.

If you own real property in California, we highly recommend that you consider whether a revocable trust makes sense for you. To discuss your estate plan, and whether a revocable trust makes sense, please contact the Wealth Strategies Group at the Royse Law Firm at (650) 813-9700.  Practice Leader David Spence (extension 211 or dspence@rroyselaw.com), or Michael Zosky (extension 212 or mzosky@rroyselaw.com) are ready to help.

Disclaimer: This blog and website are public sources of general information concerning our firm and its lawyers, as well as the information presented. They are intended, but not promised or guaranteed, to be correct, complete, and up-to-date as of the date posted. This blog and website are not intended to be, and are not, sources of legal opinion or advice. The materials, information, and communications on this blog and website do not apply to any particular person, entity, or situation, and do not apply to you or to your specific situation. You will need to consult with an attorney and/or other appropriate professional about your specific situation. Thank you.

 

Michael Zosky
mzosky@rroyselaw.com

Michael Zosky practices in the firm’s Estate, Trust and Wealth Strategies group. Mr. Zosky’s practice focuses on the areas of domestic and international estate planning, trust and estate administration, estate and gift tax planning and compliance, and formation and structuring of sophisticated wealth strategies. Read My Full Bio

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