Hess-Verdon & Associates

Trust and Estate Law Firm

Orange County trust Attorney
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Call us at 888-318-4430





Call us at 888-318-4430

Choosing an experienced trust attorney who can cover basic estate planning and advance estate planning is wise. Hess-Verdon & Associates focus on the various advanced estate planning such as dynasty trustsspousal lifetime access trustsIntentionally Defective Grantor TrustsQPRT trusts, and many other different advanced estate planning vehicles. When choosing a trust attorney, please call us and meet with our managing partner, Jillyn Hess-Verdon, who teaches and trains other California trust attorneys.

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HESS-VERDON – Top Orange County Estate Planning Attorney

What does a trust attorney do?

To help you establish a trust, a trust attorney can offer meaningful legal assistance to the trustee responsible for managing the trust. The duties of a trust attorney include creating documents for asset protection against lawsuits, taxes, and other legal matters.

A trust attorney will also guide you to best manage your estate taxes by leveraging estate planning vehicles. Estate planning vehicles will be considered based on your age, income, size of the estate, and other essential factors.

How much does it cost to set up a trust?

The cost will greatly depend on your view on how deep you want the trust to protect your assets and its long-term effects on your family. You see, there are many DIY (do it yourself) platforms you can use, and then there are trust attorneys that will manually create your trust based on your exact needs and your family dynamics. Trust litigation is on the rise for one simple reason. The trust was not adequately designed around family dynamics, and once you pass away, litigation between family members starts due to inherent flaws. As we see it here at Hess-Verdon & Associates, meeting face-to-face with your estate planning attorney is second-to-none. It is essential to spell all potential issues that may arise and build them into the trust to keep your estate out and your family out of the probate process.

Do you need a lawyer to create a trust?

When asking if you need a lawyer to create a Trust, it is like asking if you need a doctor to give you some advice on an issue you have a concern about yet no idea of the short term and long term problems. Yes, you can try to build one on your own, but should it get contested, a myriad of breakdowns within the family typically occurs. Having an estate plan well thought out is essential!

Why does a trustee need an attorney?

If you are a trustee and have to complete a trust administration process, it is prudent to ensure you meet the deadlines, including keeping a beneficiary up-to-date. A trust attorney can guide you through the process, help you with your fiduciary duties and ultimately save the trust out of litigation.

What is the role of an estate planning attorney?

Before diving into what an estate plan is all about, let’s eliminate some myths regarding trusts vs. will and probate.

In California, if you have assets of more than $150,000.00, then it behooves you to look into some trust vehicle to pass down your estate to your loved ones in the event of one’s passing. If you have assets above $150,000.00 and you don’t have a will or trust, then read on. Take note that an estate planning lawyer is essential to protect your estate legal rights.

Learn about the following:

  1. Dying Intestate (without a will)
  2. Dying with a will (California fees)
  3. Dying with a trust 

1st myth: “I have a will, so my family won’t have to go through probate when I die.” 

Answer: False! A Will is a one-way ticket to probate and not private, unlike a trust. So again, a will does not avoid the probate process. One can look at a Will in the following light: You tell your family that you want them to go to probate.

What are some differences between a Will and a Trust? 

Will Vs. Trust

Great question, and here are some main differences that an estate planning attorney will tell you:

  1. Privacy:  If you want to keep your financial life private and away from public view, an estate plan is a way to go.
  2. Stay out of probate: A living trust does not go through probate, which means the estate assets’ distribution is clear to the beneficiaries, unlike a will.
  3. Saving money:  It may seem prudent to create a will because of the typically lower cost to set up than a trust, but the costs “after” you die are expensive, including executor fees, attorney fees, and miscellaneous fees. A trust may cost more upfront to set up because of the depth in which it goes, but once completed, periodic amendments are needed. Once you pass, a successor trustee manages the estate instead of the probate court. Hess-Verdon estate planning attorney will help you through the estate plan process.

What type of trust should I get?

Great question and there are various types! There are acronyms like QTIP Trusts, GRUTs, GRATsSNTDynasty Trusts, Totten Trusts, CRT Trusts, and other irrevocable trusts. Each one handles your estate slightly differently than the other. 

Answer: Work with an estate planning attorney and have them as your lifelong advocate.  

When you speak with a trust attorney, you will look at trusts in two category types, the revocable living trust, and the irrevocable trust:

  1. Revocable Trust
  2. Irrevocable Trust

And within each trust type are sub-categories, as mentioned.  

Key takeaway: Most people get a revocable trust, which the grantor/settlor can change and even close. Once the grantor/trustor passes, then it becomes “irrevocable.” At this point, the successor trustee takes over the estate. 


Key takeaways: Trusts can include provisions to lower estate taxes.

1. Insurance Life Insurance Trust [ILIT]: Many people don’t understand that a life insurance policy, depending on the amount, can trigger an estate tax bill. One option to mitigate estate taxes is an ILIT. An ILIT is an irrevocable trust explicitly set up to own a life insurance policy.

2. Qualified Terminable Interest Trust [QTIP]: a QTIP is an A/B trust arrangement used by a married individual.

3. Charitable Remainder Trust: A charitable trust allows you to donate generously to a charity of your choice and give you and your heirs a big tax break. Advantages are a reduction in Income taxes, estate taxes, capital gains tax.

4. Charitable Remainder Unitrust (CRUT)

Other types:

  1. Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT)
  2. Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QTIP)
  3. Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust (IDGT)
  4. Special Needs Trust (SNT) and Third-Party SNT (Special needs)
  5. Spousal Lifetime Access Trust (SLAT)
  6. Pros and Cons of Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts
  7. Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT)
  8. Dynasty Trust | Legacy Trust
  9. Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT)
  10. Charitable Lead Trusts (CLT)
  11. Bypass Trust | AB Trust
  12. Crummey Trusts: Preserve Gift Tax Exclusion

How does an Irrevocable trust work?

An irrevocable trust is one essential part of estate planning, asset protection, and tax strategy planning. With an irrevocable trust, the Trustor gives up complete control and ownership of the property while reducing your estate tax liability. 

What should I consider in achieving competent counsel?

Choosing the right Orange County living trust attorney is very important. Yes, you can try to DIY (do it yourself), but in today’s litigious society, you want to stay out of probate court; therefore, it is inadvisable. If you live in California, it is even more of a reason to do your due diligence to protect your estate instead of leaving it up to chance. Why do people choose a Will over a trust? This is primarily due to cost, but the downside is that the costs and legal fees after death are higher with a Will because Wills require the probate court’s supervision.

When calling into a trust attorney, you will want them to know the following:

Avoid Probate: Regarding probate law, let the estate planning lawyer know you want to avoid probate when you die.  An estate plan will help you attain an attorney client relationship.

Years of Experience: Find out how many years the estate planning lawyer has been doing Living Trusts and how many they have prepared.

Ask who will draft and prepare your Trust document: Nowadays, there are DIY Living Trust platforms, but here at Hess-Verdon, you work one-on-one with our attorneys and paralegals.

The larger the estate, the more critical advanced estate planning may be for you. All properties, assets, etc., should be considered; otherwise, it can trigger probate.

How Many Administered: Ask how many Living Trust the attorney had administered (settled) when the clients died or became incapacitated.

Ask how long it will take: It is essential to know the staffing levels to review your circumstances thoroughly.

Checkups: It is imperative to have a checkup once every 3-5 years. If a significant change has occurred to you or your assets, have one of Hess-Verdon’s trusted attorneys do a review as soon as possible.

Note: If there is an immediate hardship, please call 888-318-4430. 

Note: The California Probate Code provides that probate estates of $150,000 or less do not need to be probated. If the estate consists of more than $150,000, a probate is necessary. Therefore, it is vital to choose the right living trust lawyer to advise you.

Call Hess-Verdon & Associates, a Newport Beach, Orange County estate planning lawyer today at 888-318-4430.

#1 Top Orange County Trust Attorney, California

Trust Types

Are you looking for a trust attorney in the Newport Beach area? When it comes to the practice of Trust and estates, it can be difficult finding an attorney that’s experienced in #1 Top Orange County Trust Attorney, California handling your specific issues.

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With over 30+ years of law, 3000+ clients throughout our tenure,
you can receive in-depth legal counsel today.


Hess-Verdon is ready to help you today.

#1 Top Orange County Trust Attorney, California

Trust and Estate Planning

Our managing partners have practiced law for over 30+ years. We have deep court experience, and after 3000+ clients throughout our tenure, you will receive in-depth knowledge in trust & estates, business, and real estate matters.
Request a no-obligation case review today. Feel free to call, and our helpful staff will set you up with one of our specialized attorneys. #1 Top Orange County Trust Attorney, California

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Revocable Trust | Irrevocable Trust

With over 30+ years of law, 3000+ clients throughout our tenure,
you can receive in-depth legal counsel today.


Choosing the Right Orange County Trust Attorney

Advanced Estate Planning

Estate Planning & Advanced Estate Planning

An experienced estate planning lawyer can help you plan your estate; they will look into your financial situation, family needs and advise on a suitable plan. They will also help with the preparation of documents to protect your assets against taxes and lawsuits. These include titles, last will and testament, power of attorney, advance directives, and living will and trusts. 

#1 Top Orange County Trust Attorney, California

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Trust Administration – After a Death

#1 Top Orange County Trust Attorney, California

Trust Administration – After Death

There are many moving parts to the trust administration process. From speaking to CPAs, IRS, tax advisors, investment advisors, etc., is quite a task, and there are deadlines and expectations from the beneficiaries. If you exceed your trustee powers, you may be held liable for loss or damages to the trust estate. #1 Top Orange County Trust Attorney, California  

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