2024 How Much Does Estate Planning Cost in California?

25Jan, 24

Facing a loved one’s death is inevitable but always difficult. Clearing out the home, deciding how assets are to be divided, and inheritance are just a few of the tasks relatives must handle. Instead of making things harder for your family, creating an estate plan with a California estate planning attorney protects them from further trauma, confusion, and arguments.

There are many factors that can affect the cost of estate planning. The amount of documents within your plan, the complexity of your assets, and attorney fees can all vary the cost. If you are wary of hiring an estate planning lawyer in California, consider the many benefits of this type of legal representation.

How You Can Benefit from Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney

Planning for a loved one’s death is a difficult experience, but it is even more difficult if an estate plan has not been created. A detailed estate plan can include exactly what assets go where, who is to inherit what, and who is responsible for specific tasks. If one is not created, your estate’s value decreases as court fees eat away at whatever remains.

Any assets you possess undergo a tedious probate court process, and any inheritance left behind remains unavailable to heirs until the probate court proceedings have ended, which typically goes on for several months.

Estate planning is not only for those who are wealthy; it is important for each individual. Its purpose is to create a plan for all of your affairs, ensuring that your family does not have to deal with the aftermath of your death without direction. Overall, developing an estate plan is one of the most loving things that you can do for your family.

Estate Planning Fees

If you want to begin planning your estate but are hesitant because of the legal fees, it is impossible to know the total costs. You may be able to estimate if you have an idea of the documentation you want included in your plan. Every attorney has their own billing policies, as some have a flat rate, and most charge by the hour.

Once a comprehensive estate plan is developed, rest assured you are saving your family money for the future, giving them everything needed to access your estate.

What an Estate Planning Attorney Can Do For You

Many believe that having a will is enough of an estate plan. While it can include a will, the two terms are not interchangeable. Creating a thorough estate plan does much more than preparing a last will and testament, although it is common to include one in your estate plan.

There are several estate planning services that are available to you by an attorney, which may include:

  • Creating a living will or revocable trust
  • Determining powers of attorney
  • Assigning agents and executors
  • Preparing any necessary affidavits
  • Restructuring an estate’s tax burden
  • Speaking with the probate court on your behalf

The Downfalls of Planning Your Estate Yourself

You may choose to create your own plan without the help of an estate planning attorney with the help of online resources. It is unwise to do so if you have a complicated estate with multiple assets and several heirs to an inheritance.

In many cases, those who are not versed in legal proceedings can make clerical or procedural mistakes, threatening the validity of the entire estate plan. Consult an estate planning attorney who can answer your questions and can also speak on your behalf with the probate court.

When to Start Estate Planning

It’s never too early to begin estate planning. No matter your age, if you have multiple assets and a growing estate, you need to make a plan for where they will go after your death. If you wish to plan for your family’s future, consult with an estate planning attorney as soon as you can.


Q: What Costs Are Associated with Estate Planning?

A: Several factors are involved in the cost of estate planning. The number of documents in your plan, time spent in court executing your estate, and your attorney costs all factor into the total cost. While it is difficult to give an exact amount, a detailed estate plan can range between $900-$5,950.

Q: How Much Does It Cost to Set Up a Living Trust in California?

A: As it is with most legal services, the cost to set up a living trust varies, depending on how detailed it is, the type of assets included, your location, and lawyer fees. The typical cost is between $2000-$4000. It is advised to speak to an estate planning attorney to discuss your needs.

Q: Is Estate Planning Only for the Wealthy?

A: Estate planning helps anyone looking to save the bulk of their estate and pass it on to their loved ones. It can potentially save their family from facing tax burdens or extra court fees upon their death. Whether you have a large estate or a modest estate, you and your loved ones can benefit from creating an estate plan.

Q: What Are the Most Important Estate Planning Documents?

A: Some of the most important documents to include in your estate plan are instructions for your funeral, titles and property deeds, personal identification documents, financial power of attorney, insurance documents, a last will and testament, and a revocable living trust. When discussing your estate’s needs with your attorney, he or she will help you determine what documents are essential to your plan.

Scheduling a Consultation with an Estate Planning Attorney in California

The loss of a friend or family member is never easy, but dealing with a deceased loved one’s estate does not have to be difficult. Creating an estate plan spares your family from arguments and can save money in the long run. At Sakamoto & Ruelas, APC, it is our goal to help you create a comprehensive estate plan, ensuring that it will be properly distributed. To get started on your estate plan, contact us for a consultation.

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