how much does a living trust cost in California

A living trust is a popular estate planning tool that provides a way for individuals to manage their assets during their lifetime and after their death. It allows for the transfer of property to beneficiaries without going through probate court, which can be a costly and time-consuming process. However, one of the main concerns that people have when considering a living trust is the cost.

Having a general understanding of the cost of a living trust in California can help you make an informed decision about whether this estate planning method is right for you and your family.

Factors Influencing Living Trust Costs in CA

There are several factors that can influence the cost of a living trust in California. These include:

  • The complexity of the trust. The complexity of a living trust can vary widely depending on the specific goals and circumstances of the individual creating it. A more complex trust, such as one that involves multiple beneficiaries, unique assets, or special provisions, may require more time and knowledge to create and administer, which can drive up the cost.
  • Size of the estate. The value and composition of an individual’s estate can also affect the cost of a living trust. Larger estates with many assets may require more work to transfer into the trust and manage, which can increase the overall cost.
  • Attorney fees. Most people work with an attorney to create a living trust, and attorney fees can vary widely depending on the experience and location of the attorney. Some attorneys may charge a flat fee for their services, while others may charge by the hour.
  • Filing fees. There may be fees associated with filing and recording the living trust with the state of California, which can add to the overall cost.
  • Ongoing maintenance fees. Living trusts require ongoing maintenance to ensure they remain up to date and effective. This may include periodic reviews and updates, as well as ongoing management of the trust assets. These fees can vary depending on the complexity of the trust and the services required.

It’s important to keep in mind that the cost of a living trust can vary widely depending on these and other factors.

Living Trusts: What You Can Expect to Pay

While the cost of a living trust in California can vary depending on the factors mentioned above, here are some estimates to give you a rough idea of what you might expect to pay:

  • Basic living trust. A simple living trust can cost between $1,000 and $2,500, depending on the attorney’s fees and the complexity of the trust.
  • Complex living trust. A more complex living trust that involves multiple beneficiaries, unique assets, or special provisions can cost between $2,500 and $5,000 or more.
  • Ongoing maintenance fees. Ongoing maintenance fees can vary depending on the complexity of the trust and the services required. For example, an annual review and update of a living trust can cost between $500 and $1,500.

These numbers are rough estimates, and the cost of a living trust can differ depending on your individual circumstances. It’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney who can provide you with a more accurate estimate based on your specific needs and goals.


Q: Can I Do My Own Living Trust in CA?

A: Yes, you can create your own living trust in California. However, creating a living trust involves several steps, including identifying the assets you wish to include in the trust, naming a trustee to manage the trust, and designating beneficiaries who will receive the trust assets. In California, living trusts are governed by state law, and the requirements for creating a valid trust can be complex. Therefore, it is recommended that you seek the guidance of an attorney or a licensed estate planning professional to ensure that your trust is properly drafted and executed.

Q: What Are the Advantages of a Living Trust?

A: A living trust can be a valuable estate planning tool for those looking to avoid probate, maintain control and flexibility over their assets, and have a plan for the management of their assets in case of incapacity. Additionally, depending on the size of your estate, a living trust can help reduce estate taxes and other transfer taxes.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Do a Living Trust?

A: In general, creating a living trust can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. The process typically involves several steps, including identifying the assets you wish to include in the trust, choosing a trustee, drafting the trust document, transferring assets into the trust, and executing the trust document. It’s important to remember that creating a living trust is an ongoing process. You may need to periodically review and update your trust as your circumstances change, such as when you acquire new assets, get married, or have children.

Q: Is It Better to Have a Will or a Trust in CA?

A: In general, a living trust may be a better option if you have a larger estate, want to avoid the probate process, or want to maintain greater control over your assets after your death. A will may be sufficient for those with a smaller estate or more straightforward distribution wishes. Ultimately, it’s important to consult with an attorney or estate planning professional to determine the most ideal option for your individual circumstances and goals.

Plan For Your Future Before It Is Too Late

If you are looking for estate planning attorneys you can count on, look no further than McCunn Law. Our team of experienced attorneys specializes in creating custom estate plans to fit the unique needs and goals of each client. We can help you create a living trust or draft a will so that your assets are prepared for anything the future may hold. We can also assist with asset protection, tax planning, and business succession planning. Don’t leave your estate planning to chance — contact us today to schedule a consultation and see how we can help you achieve peace of mind for the future.