Frequently Asked Questions


Federal Estate Tax Exemption

For 2019, the federal estate tax exemption is $11.4 Million per person.  Through portability, a married couple federal estate tax exemption is $22.8 Million.  Thus, a single person who has an estate under $11.4 Million will not pay estate tax.  The annual gift tax exclusion remains at $15,000 per person per year. 

The Cost of Probate

A common question is what probate fees cost an estate in California.  Probate fees are determined by California state statute and are as follows: 

  (1) Four percent on the first one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000). 

  (2) Three percent on the next one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).

  (3) Two percent on the next eight hundred thousand dollars ($800,000).

  (4) One percent on the next nine million dollars ($9,000,000).

  (5) One-half of 1 percent on the next fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000)

Therefore, if the value of the estate is $1 Million, the probate fees and costs will be around $25,000.00.  

Funding Your Revocable Trust

Creating your trust is just the first step.  It then needs to be funded correctly.  In the majority of cases, it is very easy and takes little time.  It is a two step process.  First, the trust asset needs to be listed on the schedule of assets found at the end of your trust.  Second, the asset needs to be re-title in your name as trustee, of your trust.  Once your trust is created, we can analyze your estate and determine which assets should be included in your trust.