Reasonable Cost / Estate Planning Ideas

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kjvmartin
Posts: 790
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:57 am

Reasonable Cost / Estate Planning Ideas

Postby kjvmartin » Wed May 17, 2017 10:00 pm

Hello -

Some advice on a prior thread I posted has lead me to estate planning. I contacted an attorney via a search on my state bar association website. I scheduled a conference call and we held it today. He has years of experience in estate planning. I do not like to waste anyone's valuable time, so I would rather avoid calling and spending 1/2 hour with a bunch of different attorneys just to get their pricing.

This attorney priced a will, trust, general power of attorney, and medical power of attorney for $2600 for a couple.

I could omit the trust and get the rest for $1350. I'm not high net worth at all, and my primary concern is designating the guardians we'd want for our young children. Want to avoid any potential conflicts, should the unthinkable occur. We have no real estate, low five figure net worth mostly in a 401k. I plan to leave out the trust and just use a will for now.

Another option I've discovered is "Legal Zoom" which wants around $300 up front to start their service for a couple, which includes 1 year of attorney advice. That's quite a disparity in pricing. Has anyone been down this road?

letsgobobby
Posts: 10278
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:10 am

Re: Reasonable Cost / Estate Planning Ideas

Postby letsgobobby » Thu May 18, 2017 12:31 am

kjvmartin wrote:Hello -

Some advice on a prior thread I posted has lead me to estate planning. I contacted an attorney via a search on my state bar association website. I scheduled a conference call and we held it today. He has years of experience in estate planning. I do not like to waste anyone's valuable time, so I would rather avoid calling and spending 1/2 hour with a bunch of different attorneys just to get their pricing.

This attorney priced a will, trust, general power of attorney, and medical power of attorney for $2600 for a couple.

I could omit the trust and get the rest for $1350. I'm not high net worth at all, and my primary concern is designating the guardians we'd want for our young children. Want to avoid any potential conflicts, should the unthinkable occur. We have no real estate, low five figure net worth mostly in a 401k. I plan to leave out the trust and just use a will for now.

Another option I've discovered is "Legal Zoom" which wants around $300 up front to start their service for a couple, which includes 1 year of attorney advice. That's quite a disparity in pricing. Has anyone been down this road?

without a trust, how are you planning to provide funds for the benefit of your minor children? Do you have a life insurance policy? Who is going to be the beneficiary of that policy?

Think you'll find you probably need a trust.

kjvmartin
Posts: 790
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:57 am

Re: Reasonable Cost / Estate Planning Ideas

Postby kjvmartin » Thu May 18, 2017 6:43 am

letsgobobby wrote:
kjvmartin wrote:Hello -

Some advice on a prior thread I posted has lead me to estate planning. I contacted an attorney via a search on my state bar association website. I scheduled a conference call and we held it today. He has years of experience in estate planning. I do not like to waste anyone's valuable time, so I would rather avoid calling and spending 1/2 hour with a bunch of different attorneys just to get their pricing.

This attorney priced a will, trust, general power of attorney, and medical power of attorney for $2600 for a couple.

I could omit the trust and get the rest for $1350. I'm not high net worth at all, and my primary concern is designating the guardians we'd want for our young children. Want to avoid any potential conflicts, should the unthinkable occur. We have no real estate, low five figure net worth mostly in a 401k. I plan to leave out the trust and just use a will for now.

Another option I've discovered is "Legal Zoom" which wants around $300 up front to start their service for a couple, which includes 1 year of attorney advice. That's quite a disparity in pricing. Has anyone been down this road?

without a trust, how are you planning to provide funds for the benefit of your minor children? Do you have a life insurance policy? Who is going to be the beneficiary of that policy?

Think you'll find you probably need a trust.


Wouldn't monetary assets/life insurance go to the named beneficiary (children), and then the will would designate a conservator?

bengalman
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:12 am

Re: Reasonable Cost / Estate Planning Ideas

Postby bengalman » Thu May 18, 2017 6:49 am

I am in the process of doing the same as was quoted $2500. I suspect that you will find that you will want to have a trust as well.

bsteiner
Posts: 2665
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:39 pm
Location: NYC/NJ/FL

Re: Reasonable Cost / Estate Planning Ideas

Postby bsteiner » Thu May 18, 2017 8:06 am

If your assets are less than $50,000 and you don't have any life insurance, then it's hard to justify the cost of anything more than the most basic Will.

Since you have young children, and your assets are very modest, I'm guessing that you have some life insurance. While people don't think of life insurance as an asset since they can't spend it, for estate planning purposes life insurance is the same as cash, since it becomes cash upon your death.

If that's correct, then you would probably want Wills that contain trusts for your children, in addition to naming guardians for them.

For the figure you mentioned, and likely for the figure that another poster mentioned, you're probably not getting much in the way of planning. More likely you would be getting basic Wills with provisions for each other and then trusts for children. However, you can always revisit your planning later on when your estate is larger

There are special rules for trusts that receive retirement benefits. However, given the modest amount of your retirement benefits, it's probably not worth the effort to deal with that. You can revisit that later on as well.

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jeffyscott
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Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:12 am
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Reasonable Cost / Estate Planning Ideas

Postby jeffyscott » Fri May 19, 2017 1:09 pm

I don't know if any other state does this but mine provided a form for a basic will with trust, based on this statute:

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statut ... /853/II/56
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle

kjvmartin
Posts: 790
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:57 am

Re: Reasonable Cost / Estate Planning Ideas

Postby kjvmartin » Fri May 19, 2017 1:38 pm

bsteiner wrote:If your assets are less than $50,000 and you don't have any life insurance, then it's hard to justify the cost of anything more than the most basic Will.

Since you have young children, and your assets are very modest, I'm guessing that you have some life insurance. While people don't think of life insurance as an asset since they can't spend it, for estate planning purposes life insurance is the same as cash, since it becomes cash upon your death.

If that's correct, then you would probably want Wills that contain trusts for your children, in addition to naming guardians for them.

For the figure you mentioned, and likely for the figure that another poster mentioned, you're probably not getting much in the way of planning. More likely you would be getting basic Wills with provisions for each other and then trusts for children. However, you can always revisit your planning later on when your estate is larger

There are special rules for trusts that receive retirement benefits. However, given the modest amount of your retirement benefits, it's probably not worth the effort to deal with that. You can revisit that later on as well.


I do have employee provided life insurance. I haven't replied much on this, but I have received a few back channel comments that have been most helpful and appreciated. As well as the public comments. Thank you.


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