Will vs Living Trust

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
S&L1940
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Location: South Florida

Re: Will vs Living Trust

Post by S&L1940 » Tue May 02, 2017 8:15 pm

bsteiner wrote:
S&L1940 wrote:... according to our (Florida) lawyer, probate does get expensive - our trustees are relatives and Florida residents. forgot the numbers yet probate not something we would want to burden our heirs with.


We probate lots of Wills throughout Florida. It's neither expensive nor a burden. It's a small part of the work involved in the estate administration.

It involves sending in the Will, a death certificate, and some forms, publishing a notice to creditors, and paying a filing fee. The forms are filed electronically. The filing fee is about $400. The cost of publishing the notice to creditors varies depending on the county, but it's not very much.

There's also a cost to creating a revocable trust and transferring assets to the revocable trust; and as often as not if someone creates a revocable trust, his/her Will has to be probated anyway (though as set forth above that's generally not expensive or burdensome).

The more important issue is whether the substantive provisions of your Will or revocable trust are tax-efficient and protect your beneficiaries' inheritances against their creditors and spouses. You should pay more attention to these substantive issues than to the procedural issues.

thanks
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

bsteiner
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Location: NYC/NJ/FL

Re: Will vs Living Trust

Post by bsteiner » Tue May 02, 2017 8:43 pm

tech_arch wrote:
bsteiner wrote:Florida requires that a personal representative be either a relative or a Florida resident. When a Florida client's first choice for personal representative isn't either a relative or a Florida resident, we'll often do a revocable trust. Other than that, we generally don't do revocable trusts for Florida clients, since probating a Will in Florida is not particularly difficult, expensive or burdensome.

We're in Florida and working on our plan. We have two underage children so I assumed a trust would be beneficial to keep things moving smoothly (and to avoid creating one for our assets after passing.) Is my assumption correct?


No. You can put the same dispositive terms (in other words, the trusts for your children) either in your Will or in a revocable trust. You should focus on the substantive terms of your children's trusts.

tech_arch
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Re: Will vs Living Trust

Post by tech_arch » Tue May 02, 2017 9:41 pm

bsteiner wrote:
tech_arch wrote:
bsteiner wrote:Florida requires that a personal representative be either a relative or a Florida resident. When a Florida client's first choice for personal representative isn't either a relative or a Florida resident, we'll often do a revocable trust. Other than that, we generally don't do revocable trusts for Florida clients, since probating a Will in Florida is not particularly difficult, expensive or burdensome.

We're in Florida and working on our plan. We have two underage children so I assumed a trust would be beneficial to keep things moving smoothly (and to avoid creating one for our assets after passing.) Is my assumption correct?


No. You can put the same dispositive terms (in other words, the trusts for your children) either in your Will or in a revocable trust. You should focus on the substantive terms of your children's trusts.

Thank you.

LeeMKE
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:40 pm

Re: Will vs Living Trust

Post by LeeMKE » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:45 pm

Here's how to save money for the OP:

Buy the pertinent books from Nolo Press, the DIY legal publishers.
Work through their questions and narrow down your focus for the meeting with an estate attorney, (NOT a young attorney who is working trusts (to a trust dog, every bone needs a trust)).

You'll be an educated client who doesn't need too much time spent on extraneous matters, and that saves you money.
One benefit mentioned for the trust is privacy of the finances by total avoidance of probate
This is a routine pitch used to sell trusts. Probably written by the same guy who wrote the script brokers use on Bogleheads, "You don't really want just average results, do you?"
The mightiest Oak is just a nut who stayed the course.

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1210sda
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Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:31 am

Re: Will vs Living Trust

Post by 1210sda » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:57 am

LeeMKE wrote:
One benefit mentioned for the trust is privacy of the finances by total avoidance of probate
This is a routine pitch used to sell trusts. Probably written by the same guy who wrote the script brokers use on Bogleheads, "You don't really want just average results, do you?"
Yep.

Under a Will, only the "probate estate" is not private. For many BH's, not a whole lot will pass through the Will. Jointly owned assets and those with a beneficiary will not be part of the probate estate. So, someone relying on the will to determine what a decedent "had", could get a very distorted view.

1210

JGoneRiding
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Re: Will vs Living Trust

Post by JGoneRiding » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:49 pm

I didn't read all thread. Has it been pointrd out the disaster of leaving house to 4 people?

Op please read the long tread about that from a child whose parent forced that upon them and they are now forced to take siblings to court

I am sure it has been pointed out that without a trust wife can remarry leave all to new spouse and children get nothing. Happened so many times to people don't let your kids become statistics

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BL
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Re: Will vs Living Trust

Post by BL » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:01 pm

Peter Foley wrote:
Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:00 pm
I too live in MN and struggle a bit with the will versus trust issue. In Minnesota the estate you describe will pass to the wife without any estate tax nor probate if you have everything titled corrected and have beneficiaries payable on death or transfer on death on all accounts. I have been told by estate planning attorneys in Minnesota that "probate" in and of itself is not onerous in Minnesota.

If I were you, and paying estate taxes is your primary concern, I would wait until the end of this legislative session. Go to the state reviser's office website and look at Senate File 354. It is a bipartisan bill to have the MN estate tax laws conform to the federal estate tax law. Note the bill's authors.

There are many other things to consider. I have a lot of information on this topic as it relates to Minnesota. PM me if you are interested.
Thank you for this lead. It is amazing how many bits of important and merely interesting ideas I get from this site.
MN estate tax exemptions went from 1.8 to 2.1 million in 2017, 2.0 to 2.4 in 2018, 2.0 to 2.7 in 2019, and will be $3 million in 2020.

WoodSpinner
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:15 pm

Re: Will vs Living Trust

Post by WoodSpinner » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:21 pm

OP,

You might find some info in a parallel thread I started with a similar question...
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=225464

In my case, I am going to create a trust, they key question is should I use a lawyer or a Nolo press approach (also a frugal, DIYer).

If you don't mind, what bogged you done on setting up a trust previously?

TIA 8-)

WoodSpinner
Posts: 256
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:15 pm

Re: Will vs Living Trust

Post by WoodSpinner » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:32 pm

Ben10 wrote:
Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:51 pm
Guardyourheart wrote: I have avoided going to an estate lawyer because I think I can do this myself and I'm a penny pincher.
Wow! :shock: That is an amazing quote. You're taking this BH "do-it-yourself" stuff too seriously. A good estate planning attorney is experienced in reviewing your asset ownership, considering your goals, taking into account taxes and other costs, and recommending and implementing an appropriate plan. You are obviously not too concerned with making things easy for your wife or you wouldn't be so foolish about seeking the advice of a professional.
This is a question I am also struggling with ....

Given the availability of guided software packages from NOLO (among others) that helps simplify the process, why do yo need to go to a lawyer for this excercise? It seems similar to recommending someone use a Financial Advisor because investments are too complicated!

I suspect there is a real need for an expert based on the complications of the estate and the risks you are mitigating. That said, are there estates and risks than can easily be mitigated by using these low-cost solutions ?

Why isn't asking this type of question consistent with a BH mentality?

TIA :shock:

LeeMKE
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:40 pm

Re: Will vs Living Trust

Post by LeeMKE » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:40 pm

I'm a big fan of Nolo Press. The DIY legal is attractive, but they also are frank in telling you when your situation needs specific legal help they can't adequately cover in a book.

They cover all the big legal issues anyone will face, and I've found them very helpful.

Pre-Nup, Divorce, buy house, sell house, be a landlord, estate planning, wills, etc.
The mightiest Oak is just a nut who stayed the course.

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