Estate owners can avoid probate by placing their properties in a revocable trust for the benefit of their survivors (so-called living trust). A trust document is prepared that usually names the trustors – the person setting up the trust – as the trustees of the trust. The trustees are responsible for managing the trust and its assets. The trust becomes irrevocable upon the grantor’s death. The fact is that property left in a trust is not subject to probate and does not become part of the basis from which the executor’s and attorney’s fees are determined. As a result by placing the property in trust, the estate owner reduces the amount of the executor’s fees that this estate would have to pay.
An attorney’s participation is most essential in determining the legal and tax consequences of every phase in the process