Zeldes Haeggquist & Eck, LLP | San Diego Trust Attorneys


Instead of creating a will, many individuals and families are discovering that a trust may be the better way in which to protect their estate and assets for the future. At Zeldes Haeggquist & Eck, LLP, in San Diego, our lawyers have extensive experience handling trust fund issues, including composing a trust agreement, establishing an irrevocable trust, or providing clients with general information about trusts and how they may be beneficial to the client.

Enlist the assistance of a qualified attorney when attempting to organize your estate and establish a trust. Contact us online or call us at 619-342-8000 for a free initial phone consultation.


A “living trust” is a trust you create while you’re alive. With a living trust, your assets (your home, bank accounts and stocks, for example) are put into the trust, administered for your benefit during your lifetime, and then transferred to your beneficiaries when you die. Most people name themselves as the trustee in charge of managing their trust’s assets. This way, even though your assets have been put into the trust, you can remain in control of your assets during your lifetime.

You can also name a successor trustee (a person or an institution) who will manage the trust’s assets if you ever become unable or unwilling to do so yourself. Different kinds of living trusts can help you avoid probate, reduce estate taxes, or set up long-term property management. A revocable trust is one that may be altered or terminated during the grantor’s lifetime. Since the trust may be altered at any time until the grantor’s death, it is considered part of the grantor’s estate and is subject to taxation. The property is passed on to the beneficiaries only after the grantor’s death, and the revocable trust then becomes irrevocable.


The state of California requires any decedent’s estate in excess of $100,000 gross value to be made subject to the jurisdiction of the state courts in a probate proceeding. Fees for both attorneys and administrators of the estate start at $3,150 and increase according to a sliding scale. This means that, even an estate with a house worth $300,000, a mortgage of $350,000, and liquid assets of $100,000 would be subject to a minimum of $18,300 in probate fees even though the net value of the estate was only $50,000 in net value. If the house is sold or if income tax returns are filed during the probate administration process, the attorney and administrator may received “extraordinary” fees for additional services rendered to the estate.

The above illustration of a not-untypical situation in today’s real estate market, is why it is important for every home or business owner in the state of California to consider establishing a revocable trust for the management of their assets on incapacity or death. Assets held in trust are not subject to probate on the death of the beneficiaries of the trust. Neither are they subject to conservatorship proceedings if a beneficiary becomes incapacitated. A trust provides a cost efficient means of protecting the interests of your spouse, children, significant other, or any other individual or entity you wish to benefit.

Zeldes Haeggquist & Eck, LLP | San Diego Trust Attorneys

For more information about creating a trust fund or administering a trust, please contact our lawyers at Zeldes Haeggquist & Eck, LLP, in San Diego, California, or call 619-342-8000 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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