What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

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luckybamboo
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What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by luckybamboo » Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:57 pm

Hello fellow BHs! Thanks a lot for this invaluable forum and all the helpful and knowledgeable members of this forum. I have learnt a lot and continue to learn more every day.

We(myself and spouse) are both 44 years old with two teenage children (14 and 17 year old).
Our net worth is around $1.5 million which includes home and retirement assets.

We are currently in the process of organizing our finances. Upon reading various online guides/articles we realized that we need a will, healthcare power of attorney. Will and POAs make sense. However, the advice on Living Revocable trust has been vague and confusing.
I understand that it is useful to avoid the probate court costs and gives more control and structure to the estate. It also protects someone's assets from litigation.
Do we really need this ? How do we decide that? If we do need it, is it advisable to DIY or consult an advisor? What are the pros and cons of having one? What assets should belong in the trust and what shouldn't.

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JamesSFO
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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by JamesSFO » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:01 pm

What state do you live in?

For example, in California, probate fees can be quite high and the RLT avoids nearly entirely and/or entirely and is a big win potentially. In other states less so.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by sport » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:06 pm

Your estate would also include any life insurance proceeds. Let's say you have 1M of insurance to go with your 1.5M net worth. Now, if something happens to you, who will manage that money? When does the money become the unrestricted property of your children? Do you want them to control all that at age 18 or 21? What if they get sued either before or after they get this money? What if they get married, and then divorced? etc. etc. A trust lets you avoid a number of possible problems for them. I would suggest that a trust must be tailored to your situation and is sufficiently complex that it should be drafted professionally. IANAL

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by luckybamboo » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:15 pm

We live in the state of Texas

bsteiner
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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by bsteiner » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:18 pm

Here's an explanation of the Texas procedures by a Texas lawyer whom I happen to know: http://www.willsandprobate.com/FAQ/probate.htm.

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Kevin M
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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by Kevin M » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:21 pm

luckybamboo wrote: I understand that it is useful to avoid the probate court costs and gives more control and structure to the estate. It also protects someone's assets from litigation.
A living trust avoids probate but does not protect assets from litigation or other creditors.

I recommend getting the NOLO press book on creating your own living trust, read through it, and see what you think. I had my living trust drafted by an attorney, have seen many others done by attorneys, and I have drafted a couple myself for family members (and have settled an estate of one of those with no problems at all). Knowing what I know now, I would have done my living trust myself, since it is pretty simple, but I probably should use a good estate attorney to draft a new trust, since I probably would be well served by having one that's more complex than the one I have now.

I see that as I wrote this you posted that you live in Texas, and that bsteiner has shared a link with you. Haven't read it, but my understanding is that Texas is one of the states where probate is relatively easy and inexpensive.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by bsteiner » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:30 pm

For $1.4 million including retirement benefits, and perhaps some life insurance not mentioned, I would suggest having competent counsel prepare your Wills (or living trusts if you move to California).

A competent lawyer will be able to include appropriate trusts for your children, and a parallel set of trusts for your children's shares of your retirement benefits (identical to their trusts for your other assets, but with the special provisions needed to qualify for the stretch).

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:33 pm

1 Substantial Wealth
2 Blended families.
3 Children
4 Human dynamics
5 Special needs
6 Substantial Wealth

Reading: "Beyond the Grave", by Candor. (If anything, for family dynamics and interplay)

Edited: Correction for personal relevance and personal viewpoint and multiple personal experiences . . per forum guidelines: Substantial wealth at 52 to 123 million + blended family + children with special needs + awkward family dynamics = living revocable trust. Not always. Perhaps not needed. But often something to be considered per various legal counsel in my personal experiences as a "non expert" with favorable to devastating consequence.
Last edited by Sandtrap on Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:31 am, edited 5 times in total.

luckybamboo
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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by luckybamboo » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:28 pm

bsteiner wrote:A competent lawyer will be able to include appropriate trusts for your children, and a parallel set of trusts for your children's shares of your retirement benefits (identical to their trusts for your other assets, but with the special provisions needed to qualify for the stretch).
So, do each member of the family needs their own trust? or can it be joint for husband-wife and children inherit it ?

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by oldbykur » Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:41 pm

By having two-comma assets titled to a living trust, my mother's Florida probate estate will likely follow a simplified probate process ("summary administration") saving a significant amount of money.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by Kevin M » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:41 pm

luckybamboo wrote:
bsteiner wrote:A competent lawyer will be able to include appropriate trusts for your children, and a parallel set of trusts for your children's shares of your retirement benefits (identical to their trusts for your other assets, but with the special provisions needed to qualify for the stretch).
So, do each member of the family needs their own trust? or can it be joint for husband-wife and children inherit it ?
Since bsteiner hasn't answered yet, I think what he's saying is that your living trust or will is drafted such that upon your death (or death of the surviving spouse), new trusts are created for your children, and the assets are distributed to these trusts rather than directly to them as individuals. The advantage of this approach is that the assets are protected from creditors and spouses. Note that the children's trusts provide creditor protection, but your original living trust does not.

Most people just name individual beneficiaries for their tax-advantaged accounts directly, since it's simpler and doesn't cause potential complications for stretching the distributions, but if you have a solid reason to do so, you can name one or more trusts as beneficiaries. This would be the "parallel set of trusts" referred to. You'll almost certainly want to involve an estate attorney if considering this, because it's easy to screw it up. Then the estate attorney will help you decide if this makes sense for you or not.

So you only need one trust for you and your spouse. The other trusts are created by the language of the original trust, typically upon the death of the surviving spouse, but there are many ways to structure these things.

Even the do-it-yourself NOLO Press book I recommended tells you not to try and create these more complicated types of living trusts yourself.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by gasdoc » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:04 pm

I found maintaining a living trust to be somewhat of a hassle. I finally got tired of it and did a do-it-yourself will in its place. I use the listing of beneficiaries whenever possible. In other words, I try to avoid having the beneficiary be "the estate."

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by bsteiner » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:32 pm

Sandtrap wrote:1 Substantial Wealth
2 Blended families.
3 Children
4 Human dynamics
5 Special needs
6 Substantial Wealth
Actually none of these is relevant. Factors that would indicate the need for a revocable trust include:

1. If you live in a state where probating a Will, or dealing with the probate court, is particularly difficult, expensive or burdensome.

2. In some states such as New York, where you have to notify the persons who would inherit absent a Will, if you don't know who your closest relatives are, or where they are.

3. In some states such as Florida, which require that a personal representative be either a relative or a resident, if your preferred choice for personal representative isn't a relative or a resident.

4. In some states the estate of a resident is a resident estate for state income tax purposes but a trust created by a resident isn't subject to state income tax unless there's a trustee in that state, real or tangible property in that state, or income from sources in that state. So if you expect that the estate will have a large amount of taxable income, you might be able to avoid state income tax by using a revocable trust.

5. If your estate is very large, you might create a revocable trust with your children as trustees so that they can receive trustees' commissions (fees) during your lifetime without it being considered a taxable gift.
luckybamboo wrote:
bsteiner wrote:A competent lawyer will be able to include appropriate trusts for your children, and a parallel set of trusts for your children's shares of your retirement benefits (identical to their trusts for your other assets, but with the special provisions needed to qualify for the stretch).
So, do each member of the family needs their own trust? or can it be joint for husband-wife and children inherit it ?
In a community property state, a husband and wife can have a joint revocable trust. They're common in California. In a common law state, if revocable trusts are appropriate in a given case, each spouse would have his/her own.
oldbykur wrote:By having two-comma assets titled to a living trust, my mother's Florida probate estate will likely follow a simplified probate process ("summary administration") saving a significant amount of money.
It may save a small amount of money, but it won't save a significant amount of money. Probating a Will in Florida is not particularly difficult, expensive or burdensome. The forms are the same throughout Florida, and they're filed electronically. We probate lots of Wills throughout Florida. The cost of probating a Will in Florida isn't very much more than the cost of creating a revocable trust.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by luckybamboo » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:26 pm

bsteiner wrote:
1. If you live in a state where probating a Will, or dealing with the probate court, is particularly difficult, expensive or burdensome.
Are there any resources that can tell me how easy or hard is the probate process in the state of Texas?
That makes me think, do I need to reestablish the trust if I move to a different state?

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by AustinAttorney » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:33 am

This is not in my wheelhouse (I am an intellectual property attorney, although I did take probate and estate planning classes in law school). However, even in Texas where probate is known to be simpler than many other states, I can still see many reasons for a revocable living trust (and we have one established, despite having lower net worth than the OP):

1) Avoid probate (even simple probate requires a trip to the court, and court orders; a trust doesn't. Who want to deal with that after mourning the death of a loved one?)

2) Avoid ancillary probate in another state for any out of state real estate or assets covers by an out of state certificate of title (requires these assets be titled in the trust).

3) Avoid the need for expensive guardianship in care one of the trust settlors/grantors becomes incapacitated).

If I thought about it more, I could probably think of more reasons to have a living trust.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by gasdoc » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:04 am

AustinAttorney wrote:This is not in my wheelhouse (I am an intellectual property attorney, although I did take probate and estate planning classes in law school). However, even in Texas where probate is known to be simpler than many other states, I can still see many reasons for a revocable living trust (and we have one established, despite having lower net worth than the OP):

1) Avoid probate (even simple probate requires a trip to the court, and court orders; a trust doesn't. Who want to deal with that after mourning the death of a loved one?)

2) Avoid ancillary probate in another state for any out of state real estate or assets covers by an out of state certificate of title (requires these assets be titled in the trust).

3) Avoid the need for expensive guardianship in care one of the trust settlors/grantors becomes incapacitated).

If I thought about it more, I could probably think of more reasons to have a living trust.
AustinAttorney,
This is way outside my "wheelhouse!" But isn't there still the need for a "pour-over" will (seem to recall that being the term)? So isn't there still probate for any items left in the estate that were never entered into the living trust?

gasdoc

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by in_reality » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:20 am

bsteiner wrote:
Sandtrap wrote:1 Substantial Wealth
2 Blended families.
3 Children
4 Human dynamics
5 Special needs
6 Substantial Wealth
Actually none of these is relevant. Factors that would indicate the need for a revocable trust include:

1. If you live in a state where probating a Will, or dealing with the probate court, is particularly difficult, expensive or burdensome.

2. In some states such as New York, where you have to notify the persons who would inherit absent a Will, if you don't know who your closest relatives are, or where they are.

3. In some states such as Florida, which require that a personal representative be either a relative or a resident, if your preferred choice for personal representative isn't a relative or a resident.

4. In some states the estate of a resident is a resident estate for state income tax purposes but a trust created by a resident isn't subject to state income tax unless there's a trustee in that state, real or tangible property in that state, or income from sources in that state. So if you expect that the estate will have a large amount of taxable income, you might be able to avoid state income tax by using a revocable trust.

5. If your estate is very large, you might create a revocable trust with your children as trustees so that they can receive trustees' commissions (fees) during your lifetime without it being considered a taxable gift.
luckybamboo wrote:
bsteiner wrote:A competent lawyer will be able to include appropriate trusts for your children, and a parallel set of trusts for your children's shares of your retirement benefits (identical to their trusts for your other assets, but with the special provisions needed to qualify for the stretch).
So, do each member of the family needs their own trust? or can it be joint for husband-wife and children inherit it ?
In a community property state, a husband and wife can have a joint revocable trust. They're common in California. In a common law state, if revocable trusts are appropriate in a given case, each spouse would have his/her own.
oldbykur wrote:By having two-comma assets titled to a living trust, my mother's Florida probate estate will likely follow a simplified probate process ("summary administration") saving a significant amount of money.
It may save a small amount of money, but it won't save a significant amount of money. Probating a Will in Florida is not particularly difficult, expensive or burdensome. The forms are the same throughout Florida, and they're filed electronically. We probate lots of Wills throughout Florida. The cost of probating a Will in Florida isn't very much more than the cost of creating a revocable trust.
6) non citizen spouse (you lose the unlimited marital deduction so if over the federal estate exemption, you may want to use a QDOT trust)

7) NRA spouse - there is a very low $60k federal estate exemption for NRA's to bequeath so again you may want a QDOT trust to keep assets out of their estate so that when they pass anything you your children, taxes won't start at $60k.

I'm not a lawyer or experienced beyond having set up one trust ... so do confirm these things...

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by Kevin M » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:51 am

gasdoc wrote:But isn't there still the need for a "pour-over" will (seem to recall that being the term)? So isn't there still probate for any items left in the estate that were never entered into the living trust?
If you use something like the NOLO press book to draft your own living trust, you'll probably also create a will, but the will doesn't really accomplish much if anything. In the two estates I settled that had living trusts, the will had zero impact on what I did to distribute the assets.

In California there is a small estate affidavit that can be used to deal with personal property totaling $150K or less. I used this for all non-trust accounts in the estates I settled. It was no problem for financial institutions located in CA, but it took multiple phone calls and badgering to get a couple of out of state financial institutions to release the assets without a probate document from a court, but eventually I succeeded.

The Texas attorney bsteiner provided a link to mentions using a small-estate affidavit for estates worth less than $50K in Texas.

Also, payable/transfer on death (POD/TOD) accounts are not subject to probate, and I use this type of account at banks and credit unions where it's much easier than having the account held by my trust. And of course tax-advantaged accounts with named beneficiaries are not subject to probate. At least all of this is true in CA.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by bsteiner » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:57 am

in_reality wrote:... 6) non citizen spouse (you lose the unlimited marital deduction so if over the federal estate exemption, you may want to use a QDOT trust)

7) NRA spouse - there is a very low $60k federal estate exemption for NRA's to bequeath so again you may want a QDOT trust to keep assets out of their estate so that when they pass anything you your children, taxes won't start at $60k. ...
You can create the same QDOT for a noncitizen spouse in a Will or in a revocable trust. Or the noncitizen spouse who receives property outright can create a QDOT and put the property into the QDOT. So having a noncitizen spouse isn't a factor in this.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by Zott » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:12 pm

Let me tell you my deciding reason for establishing a living trust: peace of mind. I have substantial assets, children ages 20 and 21 and my spouse. After long and difficult experience, I have realized that they are all hopeless regarding money, managing it, investing it, budgeting it, you name it. Money management for them means "paycheck to paycheck". A trust after my death is called for, and I could establish it in my will. But by creating the living trust now, and re-titling the assets, I've "locked them up" and I know beyond doubt that the trust will be administered as I've stated, and will be used for income streams for my family. It is DONE.

I never heaved such a sigh of relief as when the notary put his signature and seal on that document and it was mailed off. Now I don't think about it at all. :beer

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:58 pm

Zott wrote:Let me tell you my deciding reason for establishing a living trust: peace of mind. I have substantial assets, children ages 20 and 21 and my spouse. After long and difficult experience, I have realized that they are all hopeless regarding money, managing it, investing it, budgeting it, you name it. Money management for them means "paycheck to paycheck". A trust after my death is called for, and I could establish it in my will. But by creating the living trust now, and re-titling the assets, I've "locked them up" and I know beyond doubt that the trust will be administered as I've stated, and will be used for income streams for my family. It is DONE.

I never heaved such a sigh of relief as when the notary put his signature and seal on that document and it was mailed off. Now I don't think about it at all. :beer
Well said. It took me 4 years to structure a trust. Felt like an elephant off my back the moment the documents were finalized. Locked down, everyone cared for, every provision rock solid. Done.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by Lieutenant.Columbo » Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:22 am

Kevin M wrote:...Knowing what I know now, I would have done my living trust myself, since it is pretty simple, but I probably should use a good estate attorney to draft a new trust, since I probably would be well served by having one that's more complex than the one I have now.
Kevin, do these two highlighted sentences contradict each other?
gasdoc wrote:I found maintaining a living trust to be somewhat of a hassle. I finally got tired of it and did a do-it-yourself will in its place. I use the listing of beneficiaries whenever possible. In other words, I try to avoid having the beneficiary be "the estate."
gasdoc, do you have minor or young children? if so, how does the will provide for them?
in_reality wrote:6) non citizen spouse (you lose the unlimited marital deduction so if over the federal estate exemption, you may want to use a QDOT trust)
in_reality, couldn't the QDOT be...
1. ...set up later on if/when necessary (if surviving spouse is non-US-citizen, and before deceased's spouse estate tax filing is due)?
2. ...avoided (if the non-US-citizen surviving spouse becomes citizen before deceased spouse's estate tax filing is due)?
Kevin M wrote:...payable/transfer on death (POD/TOD) accounts are not subject to probate, and I use this type of account at banks and credit unions where it's much easier than having the account held by my trust. And of course tax-advantaged accounts with named beneficiaries are not subject to probate. At least all of this is true in CA.
so, Kevin, other than to provide for minor children or for non-mature/non-responsible adults, a couple would not need a trust if using POD/TOD/beneficiaries designations for all major/main assets, is this, essentially, correct?
bsteiner wrote:You can create the same QDOT for a noncitizen spouse in a Will or in a revocable trust. Or the noncitizen spouse who receives property outright can create a QDOT and put the property into the QDOT. So having a noncitizen spouse isn't a factor in this.
bsteiner, is there a disadvantage to postponing creating a QDOT until it is actually needed?
Thanks everyone.
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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by JGoneRiding » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:11 am

Can I add a question? If you have young children and in the event of death of both spouses life insurance would go to them, do you need a living trust to title the insurance to? Or can your will establish trust for the child and the life insurance be titled there?

The reason I ask is our agent was objecting to listing either a minor child or the estate as secondary beneficiary due to "taxes and time to get straightened out" but there was no way I was going to list his guardian as then it would be "her" money and not my childs legally. So now I am wondering what kind of trust is best to protect the interest of minor children that don't yet have a trust established.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by donall » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:34 am

I'll add another reason to have a living revocable trust:
If you have a Treasury Direct account you can set up an account titled in the trust and designate an account manager. Account manager (such as successor trustee) can redeem or transfer bonds, etc. electronically before and after death.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by 1210sda » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:24 pm

it's interesting how prior to ATRA 2012, one of the primary reasons for creating a trust was for estate tax purposes (By pass; credit shelter, etc.). Everything else was secondary. (Asset protection, privacy, speed, investment management, etc......).

Now, with the $5.5 M exemption and with portability, saving on estate taxes is rarely mentioned as a reason. The previously secondary reasons have become the primary reasons. Interesting.

1210

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:45 pm

Lieutenant.Columbo wrote:
Kevin M wrote:...Knowing what I know now, I would have done my living trust myself, since it is pretty simple, but I probably should use a good estate attorney to draft a new trust, since I probably would be well served by having one that's more complex than the one I have now.
Kevin, do these two highlighted sentences contradict each other?
No. He's saying that his existing simple trust he should have done himself but that a more complex one done by a pro might be in order.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by afan » Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:26 pm

1210sda wrote:it's interesting how prior to ATRA 2012, one of the primary reasons for creating a trust was for estate tax purposes (By pass; credit shelter, etc.). Everything else was secondary. (Asset protection, privacy, speed, investment management, etc......).

Now, with the $5.5 M exemption and with portability, saving on estate taxes is rarely mentioned as a reason. The previously secondary reasons have become the primary reasons. Interesting.

1210
Living trusts did not save on estate taxes then and they do not save estate taxes now. Proper estate planning can save estate taxes and many people decide to do living trusts as part of their estate planning. But the living trust does not save estate taxes.

Having had to take over for someone who became unable to manage their affairs, I found the living trust they set up to be a God send. The assets that were not in the trust became a nightmare since no company, NOT A SINGLE ONE, would accept a perfectly valid durable power of attorney. Assets that were already in the trust were easy. Once I proved I was the named cotrustee there were no problems. Fortunately, I got involved while the beneficiary was still able to transfer money out of the accounts held as an individual and into the trust.

Unless you are somehow certain you will never face a period of incapacity, and I cannot imagine how anyone could know this, a living trust is crucial. That advantage alone is well worth whatever the up front the cost would be.

Avoiding ancillary administration for property held in another state would be another reason for a living trust that could easily pay for itself in saved costs down the road. An LLC might be even better, or combined with a trust.

However easy probate may be in your state, it is still going to be more trouble for someone than not having to do it at all.

For most, perhaps all, other issues you could provide for heirs' as well using trusts set up in your will. But incapacity during life and ancillary administration can be big advantages of living trusts that cannot be matched by having just a will and DPOA.
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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by Avo » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:12 pm

afan wrote:Having had to take over for someone who became unable to manage their affairs, I found the living trust they set up to be a God send. The assets that were not in the trust became a nightmare since no company, NOT A SINGLE ONE, would accept a perfectly valid durable power of attorney. Assets that were already in the trust were easy. Once I proved I was the named cotrustee there were no problems. Fortunately, I got involved while the beneficiary was still able to transfer money out of the accounts held as an individual and into the trust.

Unless you are somehow certain you will never face a period of incapacity, and I cannot imagine how anyone could know this, a living trust is crucial. That advantage alone is well worth whatever the up front the cost would be.
100% agree with this, based on my own experience.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by FIREchief » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:12 pm

Kevin M wrote:
Also, payable/transfer on death (POD/TOD) accounts are not subject to probate, and I use this type of account at banks and credit unions where it's much easier than having the account held by my trust.
Why do you say it is "much easier" than having the account owned by your trust? Did one of your banks or credit unions make it difficult to retitle an account to the trust?
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by afan » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:58 pm

JGoneRiding wrote:Can I add a question? If you have young children and in the event of death of both spouses life insurance would go to them, do you need a living trust to title the insurance to? Or can your will establish trust for the child and the life insurance be titled there?
Bsteiner can elaborate on the details, but it would seem that insurance proceeds could be distributed more quickly if the beneficiary trust already existed. In that case the trustee would need to provide the insurance company with a claim and a death certificate. Those certificates are not issued immediately, but that would be the only delay. If the trust has to be established according to the will then someone has to go through the process of creating the trusts, setting up accounts and so forth, none of which could start without the death certificate. After that one could request the death benefit. If there were plenty of other assets available and no big bills due, then this might not matter.

But if you are relying on a personal representative to pay bills when due then the first step is getting that personal representative appointed so that the companies will deal with them. The personal representative would need to provide the will to the court along with a death certificate in order to get letters of administration.

If assets were already in a living trust then the trustee can go ahead and handle matters right away, without the administrative steps noted above. This could mean the difference between timely payment and delays on things like mortgage and tuition bills.

I have a hard time seeing the minor effort of setting up a trust during life even coming close to the hassles one accepts if planning for all this to happen after death.

A pay on death account does not help if the children are minors. You would still need someone to take care of the money. A pay on death account provides no asset protection. It might be fine in some simple circumstances, but caring for children, particularly more than one child, is far better handled with trusts.
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LilyElder
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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by LilyElder » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:10 pm

I am interested in trust matters, and I happened to run across on line a column on probate and trust matters in Texas (not my state) written by a highly experienced Texas attorney with excellent professional ratings. He answers questions from the public without charge in his column. I have enjoyed his articles and greatly admired his thoroughness. Since you are in Texas, I recommend checking out this link to his articles. It will give you information about trusts specific to Texas law and will alert you to some of the difficulties that arise when estate matters are not properly addressed. If you do decide to create a trust, this attorney could be considered.

https://texasestateandprobate.com/

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by Tamales » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:45 pm

Regardless of the ease of probate question, if you are not married, but for example have several adult kids and/or want one specific trusted person/relative to control the sale of your house and how the proceeds are distributed, without disputes among relatives, or if you have a particular primary/secondary contingency plan you want to implement, a LRT allows you to do that if you put the house in the trust.

If you have multiple accounts with differing rules on beneficiaries, secondary beneficiaries, and percent distribution (such that POD or TOD doesn't get the results you want), putting all those accounts in the trust allows you to specify an aggregate percent distribution and secondaries. However, re-titling accounts in the name of the trust is not always as easy as it should be.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by Prudence » Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:47 pm

Kevin M wrote:
gasdoc wrote:But isn't there still the need for a "pour-over" will (seem to recall that being the term)? So isn't there still probate for any items left in the estate that were never entered into the living trust?
If you use something like the NOLO press book to draft your own living trust, you'll probably also create a will, but the will doesn't really accomplish much if anything. In the two estates I settled that had living trusts, the will had zero impact on what I did to distribute the assets.

In California there is a small estate affidavit that can be used to deal with personal property totaling $150K or less. I used this for all non-trust accounts in the estates I settled. It was no problem for financial institutions located in CA, but it took multiple phone calls and badgering to get a couple of out of state financial institutions to release the assets without a probate document from a court, but eventually I succeeded.

The Texas attorney bsteiner provided a link to mentions using a small-estate affidavit for estates worth less than $50K in Texas.

Also, payable/transfer on death (POD/TOD) accounts are not subject to probate, and I use this type of account at banks and credit unions where it's much easier than having the account held by my trust. And of course tax-advantaged accounts with named beneficiaries are not subject to probate. At least all of this is true in CA.

Kevin
Kevin, in general, are accounts with POD/TOD or named beneficiaries subject to any state or federal taxation at the time of transfer (I happen to live in Maryland)? Wondering if the trust is needed to avoid these.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by Kevin M » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:04 am

Prudence wrote: Kevin, in general, are accounts with POD/TOD or named beneficiaries subject to any state or federal taxation at the time of transfer (I happen to live in Maryland)? Wondering if the trust is needed to avoid these.
I don't know anything about other state's laws, but for federal and California it's an asset transfer like any other for estate tax purposes. So for most people there will be no taxes involved upon transfer. As others have said, a trust does not avoid taxes (and neither does POD--but for most people there will be no federal taxes).

Kevin
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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by trueblueky » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:56 pm

An elderly relative is inheriting her only sibling's estate. Relative is a Georgia resident who spends most of the year in Florida. Houses in both states.

Relative has high six figure assets. Inheriting about $500,000 in CDs and bank accounts plus $120,000 paid-off house in a third state plus hard-to-value share of an S Corporation that paid relative $26,000, $29,000, $28,000 the last three years. No reason to believe this won't continue with slight year-to-year fluctuations and gradual increase. I estimate value of relative's share of the S at $700,000 or so.

Relative has three children, three step children, ten grands and numerous greats. Children and grandchildren are adults.

Does this situation call for a trust?
Would Florida be better than Georgia?

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by bsteiner » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:14 pm

trueblueky wrote:An elderly relative is inheriting her only sibling's estate. Relative is a Georgia resident who spends most of the year in Florida. Houses in both states.

Relative has high six figure assets. Inheriting about $500,000 in CDs and bank accounts plus $120,000 paid-off house in a third state plus hard-to-value share of an S Corporation that paid relative $26,000, $29,000, $28,000 the last three years. No reason to believe this won't continue with slight year-to-year fluctuations and gradual increase. I estimate value of relative's share of the S at $700,000 or so.

Relative has three children, three step children, ten grands and numerous greats. Children and grandchildren are adults.

Does this situation call for a trust?

Would Florida be better than Georgia?
You told us about the one who expects to survive. What is the situation of the one you expect to die first?

The more important issue is probably to provide for the sibling in trust rather than outright, to keep the inheritance out of the sibling's estate for estate tax purposes, and to protect the sibling's estate against her creditors and spouses, and Medicaid.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by trueblueky » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:51 pm

bsteiner wrote:
trueblueky wrote:An elderly relative is inheriting her only sibling's estate. Relative is a Georgia resident who spends most of the year in Florida. Houses in both states.

Relative has high six figure assets. Inheriting about $500,000 in CDs and bank accounts plus $120,000 paid-off house in a third state plus hard-to-value share of an S Corporation that paid relative $26,000, $29,000, $28,000 the last three years. No reason to believe this won't continue with slight year-to-year fluctuations and gradual increase. I estimate value of relative's share of the S at $700,000 or so.

Relative has three children, three step children, ten grands and numerous greats. Children and grandchildren are adults.

Does this situation call for a trust?

Would Florida be better than Georgia?
You told us about the one who expects to survive. What is the situation of the one you expect to die first?

The more important issue is probably to provide for the sibling in trust rather than outright, to keep the inheritance out of the sibling's estate for estate tax purposes, and to protect the sibling's estate against her creditors and spouses, and Medicaid.
Thank you. Sorry I wasn't clear. Sibling has died. Will has been read, but distribution not yet made. Sibling had LTC, VA, SS and distribution from S corp, so no Medicaid.

Concern is for the survivor.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by afan » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:20 pm

I would think the real estate in multiple states would be reason enough for a living trust.
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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by fourwheelcycle » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:32 pm

afan wrote: However easy probate may be in your state, it is still going to be more trouble for someone than not having to do it at all.
I live on the east coast and my elderly father lives in the middle of the US. I am his executor and DPOA. His state does not have demanding probate requirements, but even so I would have to make at least three separate court appearances and submit a complete detailed listing and valuation of his property and investments. The attorney who prepared his will would represent me if I don't want to fly out three times, and the attorney will also prepare the various forms that need to be submitted to the probate court (with me preparing all the required inventories and other supporting documentation, of course). All of this is part of the "minor" cost of probate in a simple probate state.

Until my father (recently) sold his house and moved to a retirement community there was no way I could avoid going through probate when he dies. Now that he has sold his house, I (as his DPOA and with his participation) have set up his children, in equal shares per his will, as TOD beneficiaries for 100% of his invested assets. I have established myself as a secondary joint owner for his checking and online savings accounts, which will provide sufficient funds to support him for the first year or so (until I can sell some of his stocks and bonds) if he ever has to move into a nursing home, and to settle his accounts and pay his final taxes if he dies w/o the need for a nursing home. I will then divvy up any remaining funds among my siblings, with less than $28K going to any individual sibling. I do not expect to take anything through probate.

My father, like me, is cheap, cheap, cheap - he has made me promise not to take any executor's fee to do all of this. The point is, if he hadn't sold his house and if I hadn't put all of his other assets in TOD and joint ownership accounts, a chunk of money would have unavoidably been spent on "simple probate".

My wife and I have put all of our assets, and our house, into a joint revocable trust in order to simplify any demands on our successor trustee son, who used to live a state away from us but now lives in California.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by S&L1940 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:59 pm

bsteiner wrote:
It may save a small amount of money, but it won't save a significant amount of money. Probating a Will in Florida is not particularly difficult, expensive or burdensome. The forms are the same throughout Florida, and they're filed electronically. We probate lots of Wills throughout Florida. The cost of probating a Will in Florida isn't very much more than the cost of creating a revocable trust.
We do not have much of an estate yet our lawyer suggested a revocable living trust was still a benefit because probate fees, even at a minimum, would be way more than the cost of creating the trust. Maybe because we do not have enough commas and zeros involved, the fees are a bit too pricey. Not lawyers, not that complicated a will, yet things change and the lawyer stated our wishes would be on the safe side of the settlement process. Legally, dying is such pain.
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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by daveydoo » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:59 am

Sorry to bump this zombie thread. I'm having to decide between will and revocable trust. Married, with "adult" kids still in college. Only real estate is our primary residence. Assets are all pretty vanilla taxable and tax-deferred brokerage accounts and some defined-benefit pensions.

Much of the justification for revocable trust seems to be the avoidance of scary probate. It's not that scary, having gone through this for two parents over the past decade. My state is flat-fee for probate (tiered a little, by assets). I don't care about having our will be "public," since it just says our stuff goes to our kids (there are no assets named or dollar amounts, etc.) and there can be no hard feelings since anyone can check how fair our wishes were after our deaths. I'm guessing there will be five-figure estate attorney fees no matter what we do (unless our kids are grown and savvier). There is no tax avoidance. We can just use testamentary trusts until the kids are older, and name trustee in the will. We can name our personal representatives in our will. I guess we could use credit shelter trusts to avoid our state's high inheritance/estate tax (federal estate tax will not be an issue :D ). And the biggest knock on revocable trusts on this forum seems to be that few people actually fully fund their revocable trusts -- meaning change their beneficiary information to the trust.

It seems like an awful lot of work -- all that re-titling -- and I just don't see where all the peace-of-mind comes in. Am I off-base?
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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by afan » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:50 am

daveydoo wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:59 am

Much of the justification for revocable trust seems to be the avoidance of scary probate. ...

It seems like an awful lot of work -- all that re-titling -- and I just don't see where all the peace-of-mind comes in. Am I off-base?
Off base.

Read the thread again and see the examples of living trust advantages that have nothing to do with probate.

The value in making easier for someone to manage your affairs if you become incapacitated is more than enough reason to do the living trust. If it held no advantages for probate at all, the value during your life would be worth it.

Retitling is easier than falling off a log. You fill out a form and sign it.

Some places will want copies of part of the trust document.

ALL of the work of retitling if you had a dozen accounts would take less time and effort than getting someone appointed executor at your death.

ALL of the work of retitling would be less than finding an attorney to help with probate.

ALL of the work of retitling would be trivial compared to getting one financial institution to recognize a DPOA if needed because you were incapacitated and did not have a trust.
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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by ChrisC » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:10 am

daveydoo wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:59 am
Sorry to bump this zombie thread. I'm having to decide between will and revocable trust. Married, with "adult" kids still in college. Only real estate is our primary residence. Assets are all pretty vanilla taxable and tax-deferred brokerage accounts and some defined-benefit pensions.

Much of the justification for revocable trust seems to be the avoidance of scary probate. It's not that scary, having gone through this for two parents over the past decade. My state is flat-fee for probate (tiered a little, by assets). I don't care about having our will be "public," since it just says our stuff goes to our kids (there are no assets named or dollar amounts, etc.) and there can be no hard feelings since anyone can check how fair our wishes were after our deaths. I'm guessing there will be five-figure estate attorney fees no matter what we do (unless our kids are grown and savvier). There is no tax avoidance. We can just use testamentary trusts until the kids are older, and name trustee in the will. We can name our personal representatives in our will. I guess we could use credit shelter trusts to avoid our state's high inheritance/estate tax (federal estate tax will not be an issue :D ). And the biggest knock on revocable trusts on this forum seems to be that few people actually fully fund their revocable trusts -- meaning change their beneficiary information to the trust.

It seems like an awful lot of work -- all that re-titling -- and I just don't see where all the peace-of-mind comes in. Am I off-base?
I think the question you raise is whether a Living Revocable Trust (that will later morph into an Irrevocable Trust when one or two spouses pass) is preferable to having a Testamentary Trust that is part and parcel of your Will. I opted for the former though I know friends who opted for the latter. We went the Revocable Trust route because it would be an easier handoff to our heirs, especially with real estate (primary residential and investment properties). Re-titling can be cumbersome but we figure we're sparing our heirs some handoff issues if they have to go thru probate to solidify title transfers, particularly if you have to probate in multi-jurisdictions because real estate assets are located there. With a Living Trust set-up, your heirs can sell or transfer real property quickly. So, if the kids don't want your primary residence, with a Will (in which the property is included in the estate) it might take some time for the kids to sell the residence.

Not relevant to me as my state does not have estate or inheritance taxes, but I guess in some states there could be a tax avoidance issue; for example, I think PA has an inheritance tax so transfers to heirs in probate (unless I think the transfer is to a spouse) would be taxed, whereas I don't think this might be the case if you re-titled into a Living Trust with heirs as the successor trustees/beneficiaries.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by daveydoo » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:39 pm

afan wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:50 am

Off base.

Read the thread again and see the examples of living trust advantages that have nothing to do with probate.

The value in making easier for someone to manage your affairs if you become incapacitated is more than enough reason to do the living trust. If it held no advantages for probate at all, the value during your life would be worth it.

Retitling is easier than falling off a log. You fill out a form and sign it.

Some places will want copies of part of the trust document.

ALL of the work of retitling if you had a dozen accounts would take less time and effort than getting someone appointed executor at your death.

ALL of the work of retitling would be less than finding an attorney to help with probate.

ALL of the work of retitling would be trivial compared to getting one financial institution to recognize a DPOA if needed because you were incapacitated and did not have a trust.
I've read all of that -- and all the other threads I could find -- and that's what led me to my conclusion. Spouse and I have a lot of "pieces" and simply retitling them to a trust will not make it any easier for heirs or a separate trustee to manage this. They will either be capable or will need professional help.

We've had no trouble dealing with POAs for other relatives. Just calling it a trust no more insures good management after I'm incapacitated than to say it's all still mine. So far, the intended beneficiaries are sharp and responsible, and their own self-interest will go a long way, imo!

I had to this for relatives twice and the only challenging part was identifying the assets. A simple list of accounts makes the whole exercise trivial. Otherwise, it just takes patience and a tiny bit of organizational skill. Like I said, I understand that many folks perceive it to be easier with a revocable trust; I just don't see how it is in my situation that I outlined.

And, if you have not done it, retitling can be somewhat fraught. We've had more issues with ensuring equivalence of retitled accounts than we ever had with actual money management. A letter here, a middle initial there, an off-by-one date for a trust, an incorrect professional degree in a trust name -- all at different financial institutions.
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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by daveydoo » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:41 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:33 pm
Substantial wealth at 52 to 123 million
:shock: :beer
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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by afan » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:12 pm

You are missing my point. Putting the assets in trust has nothing to do with the complexity of the assets. It has nothing to do with hiring professional management. The issue is being permitted to do the management. Many financial institutions refuse to accept durable powers of attorney. Even when perfectly valid. Even when state law requires them to do so.

Having the assets inside a trust means the institutions only need to recognize the trustee. They have far less problem with that.

Either way you need to identify all the assets. If you don't know what and where they are then you are in the same boat, with or without a trust.

All of the gathering information, account numbers, deeds and other proof of ownership has to happen, with or without a trust.

Without a trust, at incapacity your attorney in fact has to get each entity to accept a durable power of attorney. When I had to help an elderly person with accounts at over a dozen institutions, not one would accept the DPOA. NOT ONE.

For assets that were in the trust it was simple. Fortunately, there was enough money in the trust that I was able to pay bills while getting the money out of the individual accounts. Did this by having the person transfer money from the individual accounts into the trust. She was running out of steam but still able to do that. If she had not been able to do it the only alternative would have been to hire a lawyer to fight with the companies. One at a time with the meter running.

After death bills have to be paid, real estate sold and so forth. If all the assets are already in trust, put there by the decedent while alive and healthy, then the trustee just handles these chores with immediate, uninterrupted, access to the funds.

After death if the assets were held outside of the trust then someone has to be appointed executor before they can do anything. They cannot be appointed executor until they file the will and get a death certificate. All this takes time and someone's effort. Until it happens the person who will be executor has no power to do anything. If all assets were held individually then the executor, once appointed, has to go around to each institution, present the death certificate and letters of administration and get control of the assets.

If the assets were already in trust none of this would be necessary.

Note: none of the above has anything to do with probate.

Probate is only part of settling an estate. All of the work of settling an estate has to happen. Avoiding probate hardly means there is nothing to do after someone dies. But leaving things to be done after incapacity or death when they could be done now means more work and more hassle for someone.

Collecting and organizing the assets has to happen, one way or another. One way is to do it yourself, put it all in trust and get this taken care of while alive and healthy.

The other way is to leave it hanging and expect someone esle to clean it up, either when you are alive but unable to do it yourself or after your death. I cannot see an advantage to putting it off. I can see lots of advantages to doing it now.
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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by ChrisC » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:36 pm

daveydoo wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:39 pm

I had to this for relatives twice and the only challenging part was identifying the assets. A simple list of accounts makes the whole exercise trivial. Otherwise, it just takes patience and a tiny bit of organizational skill. Like I said, I understand that many folks perceive it to be easier with a revocable trust; I just don't see how it is in my situation that I outlined.

And, if you have not done it, retitling can be somewhat fraught. We've had more issues with ensuring equivalence of retitled accounts than we ever had with actual money management. A letter here, a middle initial there, an off-by-one date for a trust, an incorrect professional degree in a trust name -- all at different financial institutions.
My experience has been different from yours, and I've gone through probate proceedings in three places, NY, NC and VA. And real estate and imited personal property were involved in all of them, with two of them involving small estates and one involving a 2 comma estate. Fortunately, for the small estates most of the financial accounts were titled jointly with the heirs so these accounts, though reported in the estates, were moved seemlessly. And I've been a creditor against a small estate as well in NY.

I've done re-titling for our current assets -- it's tedious but I haven't run into any problems, with brokerage house, banks, credit unions, insurance companies or IRAs , 401Ks or TSPs, perhaps because we're knowledgeable lawyers and know that most things have to be precise rather than just accurate when titling ownership. Some of the re-titling is simply designating the trust as an additional stake-holder.

My children, the beneficiaries of our estate planning, are no slouches in understanding stuff and we've never been helicopter parents. Between the three of them, we have a practicing lawyer in a major NYC law firm, a marketing/retirement specialist with a major systemically important financial institution, and a junior executive with a hi-tech company in the SF area. But knowing what I know and have experienced (and I probably have as many financial pieces that you have, including pensions), I think it will be an easier path for them to handle the financial pieces, during our post lives, by setting them up in trusts, but whether the trust is set up initially as an inter-vivos vehicle (such as Living Revocable Trust) or set up post mortem, as a testamentary trust in your Will -- is open to debate. But aside from that issue, I'd also rather have my assets handled, if I'm alive and incapacitated, by both Trust and POA instruments.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by JBTX » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:56 pm

bsteiner wrote:
Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:32 pm
Sandtrap wrote:1 Substantial Wealth
2 Blended families.
3 Children
4 Human dynamics
5 Special needs
6 Substantial Wealth
Actually none of these is relevant. Factors that would indicate the need for a revocable trust include:

1. If you live in a state where probating a Will, or dealing with the probate court, is particularly difficult, expensive or burdensome.

2. In some states such as New York, where you have to notify the persons who would inherit absent a Will, if you don't know who your closest relatives are, or where they are.

3. In some states such as Florida, which require that a personal representative be either a relative or a resident, if your preferred choice for personal representative isn't a relative or a resident.

4. In some states the estate of a resident is a resident estate for state income tax purposes but a trust created by a resident isn't subject to state income tax unless there's a trustee in that state, real or tangible property in that state, or income from sources in that state. So if you expect that the estate will have a large amount of taxable income, you might be able to avoid state income tax by using a revocable trust.

5. If your estate is very large, you might create a revocable trust with your children as trustees so that they can receive trustees' commissions (fees) during your lifetime without it being considered a taxable gift.
luckybamboo wrote:
bsteiner wrote:A competent lawyer will be able to include appropriate trusts for your children, and a parallel set of trusts for your children's shares of your retirement benefits (identical to their trusts for your other assets, but with the special provisions needed to qualify for the stretch).
So, do each member of the family needs their own trust? or can it be joint for husband-wife and children inherit it ?
In a community property state, a husband and wife can have a joint revocable trust. They're common in California. In a common law state, if revocable trusts are appropriate in a given case, each spouse would have his/her own.
oldbykur wrote:By having two-comma assets titled to a living trust, my mother's Florida probate estate will likely follow a simplified probate process ("summary administration") saving a significant amount of money.
It may save a small amount of money, but it won't save a significant amount of money. Probating a Will in Florida is not particularly difficult, expensive or burdensome. The forms are the same throughout Florida, and they're filed electronically. We probate lots of Wills throughout Florida. The cost of probating a Will in Florida isn't very much more than the cost of creating a revocable trust.
Would a potential benefit of a living trust be that it would allow potential “donors” to designate the trust directly as beneficiary and not have to worry about changing beneficiaries if the initial beneficiary dies? Presumably a properly crafted trust lives in perpetuity and spells out exactly what happens if various designated parties pass away down the road. Can a will do that after the intial beneficiary has died and been fully probated?
Last edited by JBTX on Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by JBTX » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:02 pm

bsteiner wrote:
Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:18 pm
Here's an explanation of the Texas procedures by a Texas lawyer whom I happen to know: http://www.willsandprobate.com/FAQ/probate.htm.
What is interesting about her site is if you google “how much does probate cost in Tx” hers is the first to come up.

http://willsandprobate.com/fees/probatefees.htm

To your point the fees listed are about what it would cost to put together and maintain the actual livings trusts.

daveydoo
Posts: 1134
Joined: Sun May 15, 2016 1:53 am

Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

Post by daveydoo » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:02 pm

afan wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:12 pm
When I had to help an elderly person with accounts at over a dozen institutions, not one would accept the DPOA. NOT ONE.
So whom do they think will be making decisions on behalf of the incapacitated individual forever? This just sounds like every other issue I've ever had with financial institutions -- reluctance to have assets leave that custodian. Or is DPOA only state-specific and therefore not binding, nationally? Seems like a letter from an attorney could get this sorted out. Why even have a DPOA if it's common knowledge that it's useless and non-binding?
ChrisC wrote:
I've done re-titling for our current assets -- it's tedious but I haven't run into any problems, with brokerage house, banks, credit unions, insurance companies or IRAs , 401Ks or TSPs, perhaps because we're knowledgeable lawyers and know that most things have to be precise rather than just accurate when titling ownership. Some of the re-titling is simply designating the trust as an additional stake-holder.
Yes, I suspect that we we could navigate this, too.

Still weighing pros and cons. Thank, all.
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

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