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Agoura Hills Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Attorneys
FAQ Providing Peace of Mind One Estate Plan at A Time


Many FAQs are viewable on our Estate Planning Blog;

Q: What's included in a typical estate plan?

A: Most of our clients doing Trust-based planning receive some combination of the following: (1) Family Trust, (2) Pour-over Will, (3) Durable Power of Attorney, (4) Nomination of Conservator of the Estate, (5) Advance Health Care Directive, (6) Nomination of Conservator of the Person, (7) HIPAA and CMIA Authorization -- for federal and California medical information privacy -- and (8) a Certification of Trust, among other documents. Also, we typically prepare (9) a Deed and (10) a Preliminary Change of Ownership Report for each parcel of California real property being transferred to the Trust.

Q: Why would I need a Deed and Preliminary Change of Ownership Report?

A: The Deed can be used to transfer your CA real property to your Trust. The PCOR, if done correctly, will prevent a reassessment of your property taxes (under California's "Prop 13") at that time.

Q: Do you charge by the hour, or flat rate?

A: For estate planning (writing Wills and Trusts), we typically charge a flat fee.

A: For probate court work, we charge the flat fee which is set by California law.

A: For trust administration work, we are happy to discuss what's best for you, either hourly or flat fee.

Q: How much do you charge for a typical estate plan?

A: It depends on many factors like whether you are married (single people generally need fewer documents which take less time to prepare), own a lot of real estate to be transferred to your Trust (one house in LA County is less work than 5 properties spread throughout the U.S.), or have a taxable estate (clients with estates under the estate tax exemption amount -- $12.92M in 2023 -- don't need as much sophisticated tax planning).

That being said, many clients pay between $4200 and $5500 for a complete, Trust-based plan.

Q: Do you charge extra to have my estate planning documents notarized/witnessed?

A: No.

Q: Do you charge extra to have my Deed(s) recorded?

A: No, there is no price markup. You pay whatever the County Recorder charges.

Q: Do you charge extra for keeping a copy of my estate plan?

A: No.

Q: Who keeps my original estate planning documents, you or me?

A: Most of our clients keep their original estate planning documents, and we prefer it this way. In a few cases, we will keep your original estate plan in a secure location, if asked.

Q: How much does it cost to change my Trust?

A: Call us (818.707.8200) for a complimentary price quote. If you are an existing client, and we prepared your original Trust, expect to pay less.

Q: My Trust hasn't been updated in years. Do you give free consultations?

A: Yes, in most cases the first 1/2 hour is free; but we expect you to come to the meeting prepared. Call us to schedule a complimentary appointment.

Q: Why are you so awesome?

A: Thanks, we like you too.

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Hear From Our Happy Clients

I had James prepare my estate plan and review my parents' at the same time. He was extremely thorough and patient with us through the process. I recommended James to two of my friends and they had a similar experience.
- Mark G.

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