A living trust is an estate planning vehicle that protects your assets against taxes and probate after you die.

How much does a trust cost?

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Living Trust Fees For Wills and Trust Lawyers Vary in California.

A living trust is an estate planning vehicle that protects your assets against taxes and probate after you die. Consequently, there are multiple types of trusts, like marital, bypass, generation-skipping, and more. You can generally assign beneficiaries and make adjustments unless your trust is irrevocable. Depending on your personal situation, a living trust’s cost will vary, as will the various types of trusts due to their varying complexities. 

An Attorney pointing to a cost benefit sheet explaining to a client.

A credible Trust Attorney can help you achieve a strong estate plan. 

What Is the Average Cost to Prepare a Living Trust? 

When carrying out estate planning, your goals are to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled and receive the most protection possible, but you also want to manage costs. Notwithstanding, if you decide between creating a will or a living trust, the expense can play a significant role in your consideration.

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What Is a Living Trust?

A living trust is an estate planning tool that allows you to protect and manage your assets during your lifetime. Accordingly, with a living trust, you can act as the trustee or manager and ultimately determine who will receive your assets after you’ve passed away. Another perk is that your assets won’t be subject to probate following your death.

There are four primary types of trusts: living trusts, testamentary trusts, revocable trusts, and irrevocable trusts. Living trusts become effective as soon as you create them, while testamentary trusts don’t become effective until after death.

Notwithstanding, all trusts are either revocable or irrevocable. If you choose a revocable trust, you’ll be able to change its provisions. But you won’t be able to do the same with an irrevocable trust. When you sign up for this kind of trust, you transfer ownership of your assets to another individual or trustee.

How Much Does It Cost to Set Up a Trust?

Nevertheless, if you hire an attorney to build your trust, you’ll likely pay more than $2,000, and fees will be higher for couples. You can also use online software to create trust documents cheaper. Note that expenditures vary by state, which means expenses for living trusts in Ohio might differ from those for living trusts in California. It would help if you also kept in mind that when you are paying for an estate planning lawyer, costs will vary depending on expertise, time, the complexity of the trust, and your goals.

Some Trust Lawyers charge flat fees for estate planning services, like creating a simple will or a power of attorney. They could also bill you hourly ($300-$600 or more) for time spent meeting, thinking, and working on your trust.

There are multiple advantages to using an attorney, however. One is that this route ensures that your trust and legal documents are prepared correctly. However, this can be an expensive option for some, so it’s also wise to consider the DIY approach when creating a living trust.

The DIY method is significantly less expensive than hiring an attorney. However, this approach can be considerably riskier because you aren’t hiring a professional to set up the trust for you. Courts and the IRS are exacting by nature. Conversely, you can typically use online software to build your trust if you choose this option. If you err, it’ll cost you only a few hundred dollars or hundreds of thousands.

In Conclusion

Living trusts are one of the many estate planning options you can use to protect your assets and loved ones after passing away. Trust costs will vary depending on your location and your method to set them up. But your two main options will be to hire an attorney or form the trust yourself. It is advisable to speak with a credible Estate Planning Attorney to ensure that all your trust needs are met, and the whole plan is in place legally.