Most commonly asked questions about living trusts

Another paramount reason,
to select Spiegel & Utrera, P.A.
International CallersSpiegel & Utrera, P.A. is a fully licensed law firm that delivers professional legal services at extremely affordable prices.
"Start, Expand, Buy, Sell Your Business Today"  ON THE AIR  with Larry Spiegel and host Joe Castello. Listen to our show at
WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO YOU? Starting a Business? Anonymity? New Credit Profile? Tax Avoidance? Avoiding Probate? Tax Shelter?
Asset Protection? Building a Brand? Attracting Investors? At we can help!

Most Commonly Asked Questions (and Answers) About Living Trusts

Q. How does a revocable living trust avoid probate?
A. Probate is a creature of the law and is the way the property of a deceased person transfers ownership. The law, however, recognizes a trust as being the owner of all property held by it, even though the original owner controls or can revoke the trust.

In the eyes of the law, the decedent does not technically own the property and, as a result, it is not included in his estate for purposes of probate. Since the property avoids probate, it therefore avoids the attendant costs, delay and publicity.

Q. What factors determine if I should have a will or a living trust?
A. Generally, the older and wealthier you are, the more sense a living trust makes. I would say anyone 55 or older with assets over $100,000 should consider the use of a living trust.

Q. My estate is over $400,000 and is held jointly with my wife. Any problem?
A. Yes. Joint property could be the love trap that could rob your heirs. Joint property is also the poor man's will. Unnecessary estate taxes and probate can be avoided through proper estate planning. You also lose control of your assets if jointly held.

Q. What does a successor trustee do in a living trust?
A. At disability or incapacity, your successor trustee looks after your care and manages your financial affairs for as long as necessary, using your assets to pay your expenses. When you recover, you automatically resume control. At death, your successor trustee pays off your debts and distributes your estate according to your instructions, avoiding probate, delays and costs.

Q. How expensive is probate?
A. It usually costs 6 percent of the person's assets.

Q. Once assets are in probate, how long will it take before the estate is settled?
A. It depends. On the average, it takes 16 months.

Q. Is it true that probate is a matter of open public record?
A. Yes, the probate court is open to the public. Anyone, for any reason, can examine most of the court files and see your will and any codicils to it after your death.

Q. I realize that living trusts cost more than wills, but do I have to pay another big fee if I want to change my trust?
A. No. A trust can be amended by a simple document called a "trust amendment". This is a low cost document.

Q. Is a trust that is incorporated into a "last will and testament" (testamentary trust) the same as a living trust?
A. The property in the will would have to be probated, which is very expensive and time-consuming. This testamentary process called probate can be avoided for those assets placed into a living trust during the owner's lifetime.

Q. Why don't more families have a living trust?
A. Inertia and ignorance. Very few people take the time to fully understand the benefits of a living trust.

Q. Can a living trust save estate taxes?
A. Yes, a substantial amount. For example, if you and your spouse die in 1995 with an $800,000 estate, a living trust can save $80,000 in estate taxes.

For an easier to print version of this information
please click on this link

You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this Download
Get Acrobat Reader
SPIEGEL & UTRERA, P.A. is your one source for business legal services.

Would you rather speak to a lawyer? A Spiegel & Utrera, P.A. associate is ready to take your call.

Back To TopSpiegel & Utrera, P.A.Back To Top
MiamiOrlandoLos Angeles
1840 Coral Way
4th Floor
Miami, FL 33145
Toll Free: (800) 603 - 3900
(305) 854-6000
Fax: (305) 857-3700
Natalia Utrera, Esq.,
Managing Attorney
707 East Colonial Drive
Suite B
Orlando, Florida 32803
Toll Free: (888) 991-9700
(407) 898-5500
Fax: (407) 894-5700
William M. Homsi, Esq.,
Managing Attorney
8939 S Sepulveda Blvd.
Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Toll Free: (888) 520-7800
(310) 258-9700
Fax: (310) 258-9400
Michael A. Bustos, Esq.
Managing Attorney
New York CityDelawareLas Vegas
1 Maiden Lane
5th Floor
New York, NY 10038
Toll Free: (800) 576-1100
(212) 962-1000
Fax: (212) 964-5600
Gracielle R. Cabungcal, Esq.
Managing Attorney
9 East Loockerman Street
Suite 202
Dover, DE 19901
Toll Free: (888) 641-3800
(302) 744-9800
Fax: (302) 674-2100
Courtney Riordan, Esq.
Managing Attorney
1785 E Sahara Ave
Suite 490
Las Vegas, NV 89104
Toll Free: (888) 530 4500
(702) 364 2200
Fax: (702) 458 2100
Michael R. Carrigan, Esq.,
Managing Attorney
ChicagoClifton, NJPhoenix, AZ
Continental Office Plaza, Suite L12
2340 Des Plaines River Road
Des Plaines, IL 60018
Toll Free: (888) 514-9800
(312) 443-1500
Fax: (312) 443-8900
Michael C. Welchko, Esq.
Managing Attorney
642 Broad St., Suite 2
Clifton, NJ 07013
Toll Free: (888) 336-8400
(973) 473-2000
Fax: (973) 778-2900
Gracielle R. Cabungcal, Esq.
Interim Managing Attorney
130 North Central Avenue, Suite 303
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Toll Free: (800) 603-3900
(602) 603-1722
Fax: (602) 603-1721
John Burton, Esq.
Managing Attorney
AtlantaGeneral Counsel Club®International Clients & Requests
34 Peachtree Street NW
 Suite 1925
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone:  (404) 329-4800
Fax: (800) 520-7800
Tamara L. Klopenstein, Esq.
Managing Attorney
Unlimited Legal & Business Advice
Toll Free: 1 (800) 734 - 9900
         Fax: 1 (800) 520 - 7800
Natalia Utrera, Esq.,
Managing Attorney
Spiegel & Utrera, P.A. WILL CALL YOU with your SKYPE NAME


Submit your skype details or
open a free Skype account by
clicking here

 International callers can also call our office directly by dialing your country's call exit code (e.g. 00) + 1 305 854 6000 , Extension 208

Changes, Modifications, Additions, Deletions and Other Services

You can expect a reply within 4 business hours.

Back To Top

Back To Top
Back To Top

Material presented on is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The U.S. Treasury Department requires us to inform you than any information obtained from this website is not intended or written by our law firm to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding any penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code. Advice from our firm relating to Federal tax matters may not be used in promoting, marketing or recommending any entity, investment plan or arrangement to any taxpayer.

Spiegel & Utrera, P.A. and
Privacy Policy
Copyright ©MMI, ©MMIV, ©MMV, ©MMIX Spiegel & Utrera, P. A.
All Rights Reserved
Spiegel & Utrera, P.A. and
Service Terms & Cancellation Policy