Holding Title In Trust

Holding Title In Trust

Most first-time home buyers, and many existing home owners, have never given a thought to placing title to their home in a living trust. If you use a will to pass the home on to your beneficiaries after death, that will needs to go through the probate process in California so the court can supervise the distribution of your assets, including your home, to your beneficiaries. And if you have no will, but you own a home, your assets will wind up in probate court as well.
 
There are substantial costs involved in the probate of a will, all of which can be avoided by having a living trust. What are those costs? For an estate of $750,000 (which INCLUDES the market value of the home, easily reached here in Los Angeles County), fees could quickly climb to $38,000. Those fees include executor and legal fees (which are set by statute), fees to open and close the court file, petition fees, publication costs, and court-appointed appraiser fees, to name a few of the required elements of a probate. The cost goes up with an increase in the value of the assets (and, of course, down with a decrease). A million dollar estate, again, easily reached here in Los Angeles, could cost well over $60,000 to probate.
 
A living trust serves as a "repository" of your assets, including your home, whereby upon your death the home and other assets automatically go to your beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the trust, without court supervision and without being made a part of the public record. Furthermore, if your house is in your name and not the name of a trust, anyone with a computer can discover where you live and what you paid for your home. To keep that information private, and for a myriad of other reasons partially described above, it's wise to place title to your house in a living trust.
 
What's the cost of the trust? Most simple living trusts, holding just the home, will be about $1,000.00, a fraction of the cost of probating a will for the value of even a small condo here in Los Angeles. But bear in mind that other assets can be placed in the trust as well, which is advisable.
 
If you'd like to discuss placing your home in a living trust, call Eileen Walsh. Remember that in addition to being a Realtor, Eileen is a licensed attorney practicing in the State of California. Eileen will refer you to an attorney who can best help you with your living trust needs. Another reason why Eileen is the Intelligent Choice in Residential Real Estate.


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