An estate plan is not just for the wealthy.  A well-prepared estate plan provides a variety of benefits, which include:

  • A significant savings by avoiding expensive probate costs.
  • A significant savings in taxes that you and your family may have to pay.
  • Nominates guardians for young children in case their parents pass.
  • Keeps your affairs private and out of the courts.
  • Significantly cuts down the time it will take to distribute your assets once you pass.


California is one of the few states to have statutory probate fees.  The fees a decedent’s family will lose in probate court is set by the code.  Let’s look at a typical, middle-income family.  If they have the house, a few cars, the normal personal property and financial accounts; let’s assume their gross worth is $800,000.  If this estate is probated, the family will pay nearly $20,000 in probate fees.  If properly set up, a trust will avoid all probate fees – thus, saving the family all this money.