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Top Los Angeles, CA Trusts Lawyers Near You

Los Angeles Trusts Information

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What Is a Trust?

A trust is an estate planning tool that allows you to determine which beneficiaries will get your property and assets when you pass away. A valid trust can allow you to avoid probate, which can be costly and slow, so your beneficiaries can receive your real estate, accounts, and personal property more quickly. A trust can also allow you to use and access your property while you are living while still providing for your loved ones after you die. An estate planning attorney can give you more information about trusts and estate planning.

What Are Different Types of Trusts?

There are different kinds of trusts that can be used to accomplish your estate planning goals. Common types of trusts include:

  • Living trusts
  • Irrevocable trusts
  • Charitable trusts
  • Special needs trusts

The most common type of trust is a living trust, also known as a revocable trust. A revocable trust provides more flexibility for the person who created the trust to use the property and modify the trust at any time. An irrevocable trust is much more restrictive and cannot be canceled. However, an irrevocable trust can reduce estate taxes and may allow the property to be protected from creditors. Talk to California estate planning lawyers for legal advice about what type of trust is best to give you peace of mind.

How Do I Establish a Trust?

The person who creates the trust is known as the settlor. The settlor names a beneficiary or beneficiaries who will receive the assets under the terms of the trust, usually upon the death of the settlor. The settlor also designates a trustee to manage the assets of the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries. There may be other requirements for a trust in your state, so contact a California trust lawyer or elder law firm about your legal matters.

How Can I Change a Trust?

A revocable will can be changed anytime during the lifetime of the settlor. You may want to review your trust every few years or anytime there is a significant life change. When there is a major life change, like a marriage, divorce, or death of a loved one, you may want to update your trust to make sure your wishes are still reflected in your estate plans.

How Much Does It Cost to Make a Trust in a Los Angeles?

The cost of a trust will depend on several factors, including the number of assets and properties, trust administration, and the terms of the trust. An average trust can cost about $2,000 to $5,000 or more. However, a trust can save you money by avoiding the costs, delays, and court process of going through probate. A trust can also include special provisions for your loved ones so they can have long-term protection and financial support. To get an estimate for how much it will cost to prepare a trust for your situation, contact a Los Angeles trust attorney for a quote.

How an Attorney Can Help

An attorney can often resolve your particular legal issue faster and better than trying to do it alone. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system, while avoiding costly mistakes or procedural errors. You should seek out an attorney whose practice focuses on the area of law most relevant to your issue.

Tips on Approaching an Initial Attorney Consultation

  • Use the consultation as a means of gaining a better understanding of your legal situation.
  • Ask the attorney how many cases similar to yours he/she has handled. An attorney’s experience and knowledge can speak to their expertise (or lack of) in addressing your situation.
  • Your attorney should be able to articulate roughly how long a case like yours will take to resolve and what sort of procedures to expect.
  • Determine how comfortable you are working with the lawyer and/or law firm.

Types of legal fees:

Bill by the hour: Many attorneys bill by the hour. How much an attorney bills you per hour will vary based on a number of factors. For instance, an attorney’s hourly fee may fluctuate based on whether that hour is spent representing you in court or doing research on your case. Attorneys in one practice area may bill you more than attorneys in a different practice area.

Contingent fee: Some lawyers will accept payment via contingent fee. In this arrangement, the lawyer receives a percentage of the total monetary recovery if you win your lawsuit. In sum, the lawyer only gets paid if you win. Contingent fee agreements are limited to specific practice areas in civil law.

Flat fee: For “routine” legal work where the attorney generally knows the amount of time and resources necessary to complete the task, he/she may be willing to bill you a flat fee for services performed.

Common legal terms explained

Plaintiff – a person or party who brings a lawsuit against another person(s) or party/parties in a court of law. Private persons or parties can only file suit in civil court.

Judgment – A decision of the court. Also known as a decree or order. Judgments handed down by the court are usually binding on the parties before the court.

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