C.A.R. Supported AB 717 to provide Revocable Living Trust Education

This morning, a representative from the California Association of Realtors, also known as C.A.R., spoke at the Long Beach Broker Preview Meeting to educate us about a recent amendment that was made to California Assembly Bill AB 717.  The new amendment introduced by Carlos Villapudua in District 13 states the following:

AB 717 (Villapudua) Revocable Living Trust Education – Some homeowners, particularly from low- and moderate-income communities, are unaware of the benefits of revocable living trusts for the transfer of real property to heirs upon the death of the owner.  Many low- and moderate-income households do not have access to legal advice, and in comparison to higher-income families, are less likely to engage in estate planning for their heirs.  Without a revocable living trust, households must then generally utilize the costly and time intensive court probate process.  Expansion of educational opportunities that communicate the value of establishing a living trust will help prevent the loss of equity and result in money and time being allocated instead to the probate process.  AB717 will facilitate the development of State informational resources that explain the value of establishing a living trust.

On the surface, this appears to be a good bill and C.A.R.’s position is to support this bill.  As always, please do your own research before voting for any bill.

At Laguna Legal, we are all about education and are dedicated to assisting all families with the establishment of a revocable living trust.  

The Benefits of Having a Living Trust

  • Avoid Probate: Save your loved ones the cost, stress and delay of going through the legal process.
  • Step Up in Basis: A Step up in basis means that your beneficiaries will receive a readjustment of the value of an appreciated asset for tax purposes upon inheritance. For instance, if you purchased your property for $250,000 but the value at the time of your death is $1 million then your beneficiary(ies) will inherit the property with the basis of $1 million which means they don’t have to pay taxes on the increased value.
  • The Personal Estate Tax Exemption: The personal exemption allows a set dollar amount of property to pass tax-free, no matter who inherits it. For deaths in 2017, the individual exemption is $11.2 million. The amount is indexed for inflation, so it will probably increase in future years. If you have made taxable gifts during your life, the amount of your personal exemption will be reduced by the amount of those taxable gifts.
  • The Marital Deduction: All property left to a surviving spouse passes free of estate tax. (I.R.C. § 2056(a).) The marital deduction is not allowed for property left to non-citizen spouses, but the personal estate tax exemption can be used for property left to non-citizen spouses.
  • The Charitable Deduction: All property left to a tax-exempt charity is also free of estate tax. (I.R.C. § 2055(a).)
  • Special Rules For Married Couples: A surviving spouse gets a big tax break. If the deceased spouse didn’t use up his or her individual tax exemption, the survivor can use what’s left. That gives the couple a total exemption of twice the individual exemption amount (which is $22.4 million), which can be split between them in any way that provides the greatest tax benefit. For example, say a man dies and leaves $8 million to his widow; no estate tax is owed because property left to a spouse is tax-free. The widow then dies, leaving $15 million (her own $7 million plus the $8 million she inherited from her husband) to their children.

Laguna Legal can help you set up your Living Trust, which is actually a Complete Estate Plan. Our fee is $950 (for a single person) and includes:

  1. Revocable Living Trust
  2. Certification of Trust
  3. Pour-Over Will
  4. Durable Power of Attorney
  5. Healthcare Directive

To get started, please contact our office or click on the link below:


Let Laguna Legal Help! … even if your loved ones passed without a Living Trust

If someone you know has passed away without a living trust and their loved ones need to go through the probate process, call Laguna Legal.  We can help prepare and file all necessary probate documents, give the required notice to creditors, and help/guide you or your clients through the court system.  It is important to understand the probate process in order to cut down on costs and unnecessary delays caused by filing the wrong documents with the court or not giving proper notice.  

Laguna Legal has been helping our clients with their legal documents for 25 years.  At Laguna Legal, we specialize in making the process of creating legal documents simple, smooth, and affordable.

If we can serve you in any way, let us know! We’re always happy to help.

Secure Your Family's Future with Laguna Legal's Expert Legal Document Services
We've been helping clients prepare their legal documents and mediate for over 24 years!

Living Trust Blog Posts