shg1928 wrote: ↑
Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:03 am
Background: Wife is 58, I'm 60, both in good health. We both still work and plan to for several more years. We have two grown children out on their own. Financially, we are in good shape with ~$4M in retirement savings, own our primary home and have a second lake house with a mortgage. We have a will and an Irrevocable Living Trust. The will was written when the kids were little and we plan to get it updated soon. I would just like to get peoples thoughts before we visit the attorney to give us ideas on what we should consider when we update the will. I'm comfortable with our attorney that he will guide up in the best direction, but would like to be a little more knowledgeable before we meet.
Some particular questions I have are:
- Is the irrevocable trust the best way to go given our situation?
Should we put any of our assets, e.g. homes, retirement accounts, in a trust now? If so, what's the advantage/disadvantage of doing that?
what is the best way to transfer assets to our kids upon our death to avoid as much taxation as possible and avoid any tax issues for them?
Any general comments on the "best" way to protect our estate now and upon our death would be appreciated. Thanks!
Our experience is less than positive.
After setting up a revocable trust, Special Needs Trust and guardianship for our severely disabled child, we found out the "reasonable"
fees are subject to interpretation. The attorney has taken this as an opportunity to legally pillage and plunder by charging egregious fees. I was charged for 6 hours of professional time to renew the annual guardianship paperwork for the court. After that, I did it myself (and I am not a lawyer) in under 2 hours the following year and less than an hour the year after that at NO charge. I am glad we found out while still alive.
Currently, we are looking for another attorney, but have found out they are like 'financial advisors.' They make sure they get their cut each and every year, whether or not they have provided any worthwhile service, leaving their clients poorer for the experience. In our case, we absolutely dread the prospect of funds running out for our special needs adult child who may potentially live another 60 years. We planned on leaving a substantial amount in the Special Needs Trust but have discovered (thank God, early enough) that the lion's share would be eaten up by this avaricious attorney!
As mentioned, we are looking around, but there appears to be an unwritten code of silence and complete lack of transparency regarding ongoing fees - at least in our area. Our requests are simple and not detailed, yet we encounter the 'weasel clause' time and again allowing attorneys to be able overcharge for the service provided.
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