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Will and living trust

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:16 pm
by Edge215
Hi guys

I have two young children. I'm assuming I need both a will and living trust. Question is who should we be designating as caregivers if something happens to us ? Is there a standard algorithm people use ?

Re: Will and living trust

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:45 pm
by BradJ
We completed a will and trust last year, I tend to lean toward the "common" person with regular assets and good family relationships can get by with just a will. By the way, we are common people with a capital C, but just decided to go ahead and get the living trust. Deciding on the caregivers is a difficult choice, but think about how you want your kids raised and the environment they will be around. My wife and I had a difficult time with this decision, we are both very religious but our parents are not. We decided on her parents, but wrote a lengthy letter on our wishes for kids to be active in church until 18, when they could make their own choices on which path to take.

Re: Will and living trust

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:49 pm
by senex
Definitely prudent to have a will, because it is where you specify guardians. I've never heard of a "standard" algorithm. In cases known to me, the order is usually siblings of parents, parents of parents, or other close relative/friend of parents (bypassing people who are unwilling, unable, or inappropriate).

Living trust is not so clear at your presumed age. It can be helpful if you live in one of the expensive/difficult probate states, or if you have particular concerns about your own incapacitation. Otherwise, I would ask myself what I am trying to accomplish, before going that route.

Re: Will and living trust

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:07 pm
by bsteiner
Living trusts make sense in some cases and in some states, but not in most cases in most states. You haven't provided any information that would suggest that it would be appropriate in your case.

As for guardians, you know your friends and family better than anyone else. Do you or does your children's other parent have siblings or parents who would be appropriate? If not, do you have friends who would be appropriate?

Re: Will and living trust

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:27 pm
by theresearcher
Everyone needs a will. Even if you have a living trust, a will is still required to deal with any assets not included in the trust.

Guardianship. Although a will usually has advisory effect, it may not necessarily mandate particular guardians for children. This is state law-specific. In other words- you need to discuss with an estate planning attorney in your state of residence what exact effect a will has on guardianship decisions and if there is anything supplemental in terms of documentation you can or should do to ensure your wishes are followed. Keep in mind that other people (relatives, etc.) may apply to the courts to become guardians so your thinking should cover not only who you might wish to become guardians, but also persons who you specifically would not wish to be granted guardianship (and why).

Re: Will and living trust

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:38 pm
by delamer
Regarding guardians, you also should discuss your choice with those you want to designate. It isn’t a responsibility that everyone is willing to take on.

Even if a living trust isn’t appropriate, your attorney will recommend setting up a trust via your will for the assets that your children would inherit.

Re: Will and living trust

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:19 pm
by solargod007
We did ours this year. Used employer provided legal benefit plan (~60$/year) to get these 3 documents: A Will, Durable Power of Attorney (POA) for Finance, Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare. The attorney we worked with suggested we didn't need a revocable living trust.We have beneficiaries in place for retirement accounts and joint accounts for savings/checking accounts in banks.

Re: Will and living trust

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:25 pm
by solargod007
delamer wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:38 pm Regarding guardians, you also should discuss your choice with those you want to designate. It isn’t a responsibility that everyone is willing to take on.

Even if a living trust isn’t appropriate, your attorney will recommend setting up a trust via your will for the assets that your children would inherit.
Yes, our attorneys mentioned that a standby trust/ testamentary trust would be created when both of us (parents) don't survive.