San Diego Estate Planning Blog

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Probate, Wills, and Trusts


If you need a probate attorney, you have come to the right place. Having an experienced probate attorney is important to navigate the complex probate court and to complete the probate process as efficiently as possible. For over 15 years, The Wight Law Office has helped many personal representatives form large estates to modest estates through the probate process and treats each client with the care and respect they deserve. No probate case is the same and with an attention to detail and professionalism, the Wight Law Office is a trusted partner in the probate process. Call today for a free consultation to speak with David Wight, an experienced probate attorney.

Wills and Trusts

What is the difference between a will and a trust? A will allows the person who created it (Testator) to control the distribution of their estate when they die. They decide who and how much the beneficiaries of their estate will receive. In most cases, this will require a probate of the will, which is a court proceeding that ensures that the wishes of the testator are carried out by the Executor. The probate process can take a year or several years to complete and comes with a heavy cost including, attorney fees, court costs and Executor fees.

A trust is similar to a will, in that the person(s) who created it (Trustor), controls who receives what and how much of the trust estate, but it does not require a probate or court proceeding in order to transfer the assets to the beneficiaries. During the Trustor’s lifetime, the assets are put into the trust, such as homes, bank accounts, etc., and then when the Trustor dies, the personal representative (Trustee) manages the property and distributes it to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust. A trust is also useful in the event of incapacity of the Trustor. In this case, the Trustee can manage the property in the trust on behalf of the Trustor, usually without the need for a court conservatorship of the Trustor’s estate. Typically, a trust is much easier to administer when the Trustor dies because there is no court proceeding needed to administer the trust and can be completed in months not years as in a probate case. The cost of completing a trust is also much lower than the costs of a probate. On average, a trust costs between $1,500 and $3,500, compared to the cost of a probate which can be ten times or more the cost of a trust. If you are considering a will or a trust, give the Wight Law Office a call and get the guidance and your questions answered by an experienced trust and will attorney.

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| Phone: 858.717.8035
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| Phone: 858.717.8035

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