home appraisals for trusts and estate planning in Los Angeles South Bay

Appraisals for California Living Trusts

Trusts and wills are both estate planning entities that ensure a smooth and orderly transition of wealth to the beneficiaries after the owner dies. You’ve probably heard that it’s best to put your house in a Trust instead of a will. The question is – what makes estate planning Trusts more ideal? Well, you’re about to find out.

Importance of a Living Trust

Assets that still bear the deceased individual's name and for which there is no beneficiary named are not accessible after the owner dies. In order for family members to gain access to such properties, they are required to complete the probate process. This is usually a lengthy and costly process that involves filing a petition with the probate court seeking to change the title on assets when the owner dies. Moreover, assets cannot be managed and bills cannot be paid during the probate process.

If you own a home or multiple properties, your family will have to deal with California’s probate laws and fee structures after you die, even if you’ll leave them a will. This is where a living Trust comes in handy. By putting your home in a Trust, your loved ones will not have to endure the intricate and costly probate process after you pass away. This is because assets that are owned in the name of a Trust are instantly accessible to the Trust-maker’s designated successor. So, it is important and smart to have a Trust to avoid probate.

Importance of Home Appraisal for a Living Trust

If you are trying to divide your real estate equally among your heirs, you may want to know its approximate value so that you can dole them out fairly.  This is especially if it has been a long time since you bought the property and you aren’t sure of its current value. This makes it important to get a home appraisal done in order to determine the correct value of a home or real estate that’s put in a Living Trust.

You may want to periodically update your home appraisal for your trust due to changes that may occur over time.

These changes include:

  • A substantial decrease or increase in the value of your estate,
  • Death of heirs or beneficiaries,
  • Birth or adoption of new heirs or beneficiaries,
  • Marriage or divorce,
  • Change in trustees, guardians or personal representatives,
  • Disposition or acquisition of a significant asset,
  • Children reaching the age of 18,
  • New state laws

Professional Trust Appraisals by Hooks and Associates

Hooks and Associates conducts real estate appraisals for estate planning trusts to evaluate fair market values for homes and real estates. Our reputation precedes us - attorneys, CPAs, executors and grantors across California increasingly rely on our expert value opinions that are accurate and substantive.

Trust and Estate appraisals must meet four legal standards:

  1. Compliance with the laws of the State of California
  2. Compliance with the IRS Standards
  3. Compliance with the United States Treasury Department Standards
  4. Compliance with USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) required since July 30, 2018. The ethics provision of the USPAP binds us with confidentiality, guaranteeing your privacy with the utmost discretion.

Estate and Trust appraisals must only be completed by a State Certified Real Estate Appraiser - Hooks and Associates is a California state certified real estate appraiser #AR006438, and we provide home appraisal reports written in compliance to the standards above. You can be confident that our appraisal reports will stand up to judicial scrutiny. 

Want to find out more about how you can get appraisals for your estate planning plans? Contact us or call us at 310-791-1444 today to learn more and to get a FREE appraisal quote.


Not sure what type of appraisal you need? Please give us a call at (310) 791-1444 so we can discuss your situation.