Why You Need a Family Trust

By: Joe Morgan

Jun 15, 2023 | TrustEstate PlanAssetsFinancial Planning

Prefer to listen rather than read? Pair this post with Deliberate Money Moves Podcast: Why You Need a Family Trust.

Planning for your financial future includes the financial security of your loved ones. In California, having a family trust is an essential part of this security and allows you to:

  1. Preserve Family Harmony
  2. Avoid Lengthy Delays and Expenses
  3. Keep Matters Private
Preserve Family Harmony

Without clear instructions, the absence of a family trust can lead to disputes among family members. Ambiguity regarding asset distribution can strain relationships and even result in legal battles. By establishing a family trust, you provide precise instructions, minimizing the chances of conflicts.

Perhaps even more importantly, you can spell out exactly who will be responsible for raising your kids and who will control their money until the age you wish your kids to take over. Without a trust or will that is explicit in this area, your kids may become the subject of a lengthy custody battle and they will have full access to their inheritance once they reach the age of 18.

Avoid Lengthy Delays and Expenses

When someone passes away in California without a family trust, their estate goes through a legal process called probate. This can be time-consuming and costly. Some probates can take years and a typical $3 million probate costs around $100,000. Probate fees are based on total assets, so you don’t get to subtract your mortgage debt when figuring the fee. Also, fees are set by statute so there isn’t any ability to negotiate these fees or get it done cheaper.

Keep Matters Private

Without a family trust, your estate's details become public record during probate. This lack of privacy can expose your family to potential risks, such as identity theft or simply the nuisance of solicitors and scammers. By creating a family trust, you can keep your affairs confidential and protect your loved ones from unnecessary risks.

Having a family trust in California is vital for protecting your estate and the financial well-being of your loved ones. It helps preserve family harmony, avoid lengthy delays and expenses associated with probate, and keeps your affairs private.

To ensure your estate plan aligns with your specific needs and complies with California's laws, consult an experienced estate planning attorney who can guide you through establishing a family trust tailored to your circumstances.

So, what do you think?
Do you have a Family Trust? Have you read it recently to be sure it still matches your wishes?
To share your comments, send me a direct email at joe@bestfinlife.com.
Or if you’re ready to have a conversation about improving your financial life, schedule a complimentary virtual conversation here.

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