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All webinars are hosted by The Law Office of Brian D. Russ and cover the following:

  • Will and Trust Differences

  • Avoiding Probate

  • Homeowner Considerations

  • Guardianship Nominations for Minors

  • Incapacity Considerations

Webinar Access Registration
(& Free 5-Minute Estate Planning Guide!!)

Upcoming Webinars

Click below to register for a FREE & LIVE 30-minute webinar on estate planning and wills and trusts. The webinar includes a LIVE Q&A with California attorney Brian D. Russ.

Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email and a unique link to join our Zoom webinar.



All webinars will be live (not pre-recorded!) and will allow you to ask questions in real time.

No dates work for you? We'll be sending occasional updates about additional webinars. Be on the lookout in your email inbox.

Friday, September 25, at Noon Registration Form


Tuesday, September 29, at 6:00 PM
Registration Form

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Or, learn more about Brian and his practice at The Law Office of Brian D. Russ

How I Saved My Family $30,000 With a Living Trust

Before I became a lawyer, I thought I did the right thing by having a will directing my property to be split 50-50 between my two young kids. Now, after practicing will and trusts, I can tell you that only having a will was a mistake that would have cost my kids over $30,000!

See, I’m one of those rare attorneys that had an adult life with a career and a spouse and a kid and a mortgage payment before I went to law school. I get what it’s like from the non-lawyer perspective. You work hard all day, deal with life, and the last thing you want is for someone in a suit to overcomplicate your situation. That’s why I thought a DIY will was good enough (a huge mistake!!!).

Now, after becoming legally educated and practicing law in the space, I want to share with you how I saved my family $30K, and how you can too.

In California, we have a process called “probate” that controls the administration of a deceased person’s estate. If you die without a will, or with just a will, your estate is likely to go through probate. AND PROBATE IS EXPENSIVE. Probate fees are based on your assets, not net worth, so debt doesn’t reduce probate costs. So, taking me for an example, when I set up my trust, my wife and I had about $600,000 in assets (and a ton in liabilities – but they wouldn’t have reduced costs!!). That amount was the value of our house, our cars, and various retirement accounts. Pretty normal stuff.

To take our estate through probate, our kids would have been stuck with $15,000 in executor and attorney’s fees each, over $1,000 in court fees and case costs, and probably close to another $1,000 in other costs (e.g., death certificates, expenses, etc.). The probate process would have easily cost my kids’ inheritance $30,000!

But I discovered there’s a perfectly legal way to avoid the probate process and save all that money. It’s through a revocable living trust.

The Probate Code allows for independent action on property held in a trust. That means the trustee can execute the terms of the trust without court oversight (of course, there are legal protections in place that one can invoke to protect the trust assets). But as long as the trustee and the beneficiaries see everything is fair and on the up-and-up, there’s no need to trigger Probate Court oversight. That means there’s no need to pay exorbitant fees to make sure your property goes to who you want it to go to.

My spouse and I now have a revocable living trust set up to ensure our inheritance is maximized for our kids. Because that’s a parent’s role – provide as much as you can to ensure the proper wellbeing and upbringing of their children. (Oh, and we still have wills – you gotta make sure to always have a will even with a trust. I’ll tell you more about that another time.)

I want to teach you more about making a proper estate plan. Join me at one my regular webinars for more information on how to Make Your Plan℠.

How I Added $30K to My Kids’ Inheritance

Before I became a lawyer, I thought I did the right thing by having a will directing my property to be split 50-50 between my two young kids. Now, after practicing will and trusts, I can tell you that only having a will was a mistake that would have cost my kids over $30,000!

See, I’m one of those rare attorneys that had an adult life with a career and a spouse and a kid and a mortgage payment before I went to law school. I get what it’s like from the non-lawyer perspective. You work hard all day, deal with life, and the last thing you want is for someone in a suit to overcomplicate your situation. That’s why I thought a DIY will was good enough (a huge mistake!!!).

Now, after becoming legally educated and practicing law in the space, I want to share with you how I saved my family $30K, and how you can too.

In California, we have a process called “probate” that controls the administration of a deceased person’s estate. If you die without a will, or with just a will, your estate is likely to go through probate. AND PROBATE IS EXPENSIVE. Probate fees are based on your assets, not net worth, so debt doesn’t reduce probate costs. So, taking me for an example, when I set up my trust, my wife and I had about $600,000 in assets (and a ton in liabilities – but they wouldn’t have reduced costs!!). That amount was the value of our house, our cars, and various retirement accounts. Pretty normal stuff.

To take our estate through probate, our kids would have been stuck with $15,000 in executor and attorney’s fees each, over $1,000 in court fees and case costs, and probably close to another $1,000 in other costs (e.g., death certificates, expenses, etc.). The probate process would have easily cost my kids’ inheritance $30,000!

But I discovered there’s a perfectly legal way to avoid the probate process and save all that money. It’s through a revocable living trust.

The Probate Code allows for independent action on property held in a trust. That means the trustee can execute the terms of the trust without court oversight (of course, there are legal protections in place that one can invoke to protect the trust assets). But as long as the trustee and the beneficiaries see everything is fair and on the up-and-up, there’s no need to trigger Probate Court oversight. That means there’s no need to pay exorbitant fees to make sure your property goes to who you want it to go to.

My spouse and I now have a revocable living trust set up to ensure our inheritance is maximized for our kids. Because that’s a parent’s role – provide as much as you can to ensure the proper wellbeing and upbringing of their children. (Oh, and we still have wills – you gotta make sure to always have a will even with a trust. I’ll tell you more about that another time.)

I want to teach you more about making a proper estate plan. Join me at one my regular webinars for more information on how to Make Your Plan℠.

5-Minute Estate Plan Guide

Click on this link to download your 5-Minute Estate Plan guide. (It's a PDF download straight from my site brianrusslaw.com).

I put together the guide because I find that most people have the same questions about wills and trusts. The guide is a quick overview of the most common questions I hear and recommended next steps for most folks. Of course, the guide is not designed to be legal advice and your will and trust will need to be professionally crafted for your unique situation.

I want to teach you more about making a proper estate plan. Join me at one my regular webinars for more information on how to Make Your Plan℠.