Estate Planning-Advice

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
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geauxdoc58
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:10 pm

Estate Planning-Advice

Post by geauxdoc58 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:27 pm

I am 60 yrs. old and meeting with an estate planning attorney, for the first time, in 3 days. I have saved reasonably well for retirement, but would welcome advice regarding setting up a revocable trust, as well as the anticipated fees associated with having an attorney help me with this process. Should I expect future additional fees for any changes to the trust, and what range of fees are reasonable? Any other advice on this estate planning process?

afan
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Re: Estate Planning-Advice

Post by afan » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:28 pm

Fees for an estate planning attorney can vary widely. Attorneys in big firms, in big cities, tend to charge much higher prices. You can often find a very well qualified attorney at a smaller firm or outside the big city for much lower cost.

The cost for estate planning work will depend on the complexity of your situation. That can also vary so it would be hard to estimate what it would cost.

If you did need to change your documents in the future you would have to pay again for those alterations. But you could go for years without a need to change anything.

The biggest advantage of revocable trusts for people in many states is the simplicity they offer for someone to take over management of your affairs while you are still alive. Apparently, many states have simplified probate processes so avoiding probate is not as important in those states. Still, probate is one more thing for someone to do. Having a revocable trust, with your assets in it, gets rid of this need.

To prepare for your meeting you should think about who you want to get your assets when you die and who would take over and manage your assets while you are alive but incapacitated. The complexity will depend on how many heirs you have and how complicated you want the provisions to be. Do you want to leave everything to a spouse, or to one set of children, equally, if you out live your spouse? Do you have neither spouse nor children and intend to leave everything to charity? Some other goals?

If you have a large estate you might face estate or inheritance taxes at the state level.
If you have a very large estate you would face federal estate taxes.

Depending on your goals and the size of your estate the planning could be complicated.
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geauxdoc58
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:10 pm

Re: Estate Planning-Advice

Post by geauxdoc58 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:36 pm

Thank you!

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Peter Foley
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Re: Estate Planning-Advice

Post by Peter Foley » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:28 pm

afan provided a good starting point:
To prepare for your meeting you should think about who you want to get your assets when you die and who would take over and manage your assets while you are alive but incapacitated. The complexity will depend on how many heirs you have and how complicated you want the provisions to be. Do you want to leave everything to a spouse, or to one set of children, equally, if you out live your spouse? Do you have neither spouse nor children and intend to leave everything to charity? Some other goals?

If you have a large estate you might face estate or inheritance taxes at the state level.
If you have a very large estate you would face federal estate taxes.
In addition I would add that you think about potential heirs and their ability to handle money should something happen to you. Picking an executor that would follow your wishes is also very important. Blended families have a set of issues to deal with as well. If your principal retirement assets are an IRA (401k, etc) that is another wrinkle that you will have to think through with your attorney.

geauxdoc58
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:10 pm

Re: Estate Planning-Advice

Post by geauxdoc58 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:26 pm

Much appreciated!

HIinvestor
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Re: Estate Planning-Advice

Post by HIinvestor » Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:39 pm

If you are married, you and your spouse need to think about what you each want to do Uc your spouse survives you. Do you want all to go to survivor? What is survivor marries again and wants to leave everything to new spouse and family, nothing for your original kids?

Another thing to consider is if there are any age limitations on when you want to give funds to beneficiary? Upon your death? After each beneficiary reaches age x, yY% of inheritance is given and balance at age z? Lots to think about.

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