You need a Trust if:
- You have over $150,000 in assets and want to avoid the time and expense of probate – for a $400,000 estate probate costs are $11,000.
- You do not want your heirs to wait more than 6 months to settle your estate.
- You want your estate information kept private.
- You want to address incapacity issues.
- You want to ensure that your wishes will be carried out.
- You do not want one or more of your beneficiaries to receive their inheritance outright at your death.
- You have a blended family.
- You own real estate.
- You are a married couple and one or both of you are not a U.S. citizen.
- You have a beneficiary on Medi-Cal or Supplemental Security Income.
- You are married and would benefit from two estate tax exemptions.
You should review your existing trust if:
- You have had any life changes – such as marriage, divorce, reconciliation, death, or grandchildren.
- You have seen that your successor trustee cannot handle their own finances – let alone yours.
You need a will if:
- You have minor children and need to address guardianship issues.
- You want specific assets given to specific people.
In addition, everyone over eighteen needs an Advance Health Care Directive, HIPPAA Release, and Financial Power of Attorney.