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2015OctcDuring our Civil War public sentiment to add God to the design of our minted coins moved Salmon P. Chase to action. He invited Congress to choose the motto and pass the law in 1864 that allows In God We Trust to be used on minted coins…starting with the 1864 two-cent coin. The motto didn’t appear on paper money until 1957. That’s a lot of time and a lot of change (when did you see your last two-cent coin?), but the trust was well-placed and the Republic still stands. Speaking of trust, an alternative to accepting probate of one’s estate is to establish a trust that can own one’s worldly goods. Why do that? The statutory limit attorneys can charge to probate a million dollar estate in California is $23,000; executors can charge that much again. Establishing a trust skirts probate fees. A trust can endure throughout a lot of time and a lot of change; one can only hope successor trustees will do a good job as stewards of the estate. Establishing a trust instead of accepting probate does afford greater personal attention to heirs…sometimes for generations. Underneath it all, In God We Trust still works.

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