Living Trusts and Estate Planning

To assure your estate goes where you want it to go, it is vital to have a living trust, durable power of attorney for financial matters, and durable power of attorney for health care. These documents prevent court intervention.

  • Don’t let a judge decide where your estate shall go.  
  • Don’t let lawyers eat up your estate with legal fees.

Avoid Probate

Protect your estate and be sure your beneficiaries get as much of your estate as possible. Don’t let their inheritance get eaten up by probate costs and legal fees. If you prepare now, it is the best gift you can give to your children.

Any estate not in a Trust over $100,000.00 with or without a Will must go through Probate. Probate is expensive and can take up to 1-5 years to complete. Do not add this stress to your children when they are already going through a very emotional period. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is one of the most stressful periods in anyone’s life.

Making the transfer of estate assets to your heirs as easy and quick as possible is one of the most important gifts you can give to your beneficiaries. Estate planning protects not only your children, but your grandchildren.

  • Protect Your Children's and Grand-Children's Inheritance

Why a Living Trust?

A living trust is the least expensive, safest, and private way to distribute your estate. A Living Trust may cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 to set up, however, costs after death are minimal (usually under $500).

If a trust is challenged, the challenger bears the initial cost, which many times will discourage Trust contests. Sprinkling trusts to control distributions to children or grandchildren under 30 can be included in your Living Trust to control large distributions to young adults lacking good financial judgment.

With a Will, the initial cost may be less, but the costs increase substantially after death ($4,000 or more). When a probate is filed, all of the information, including the estate assets, are public record, accessible to anyone.

Probate attorney fees are based on the size of your estate. The more your estate is worth, the more the legal fees will be.

  • Wills are no longer the best way to make sure your estate stays in your family

Why Are Durable Powers of Attorney Necessary?

Wills and Trusts usually come into effect after the death of a Trustor. However, when a person is incapacitated mentally or physically, a Durable Power of Attorney is used. These allow you to name your agents to make financial and medical decisions for you when you are unable to make them yourself. These are vitally important to allow all of your bills to be paid and medical decisions made for you while you are still alive but unable to make your own decisions. They prevent the need for Conservatorships, which are court controlled.

Planning ahead to name your agents allows you to control who makes decisions for you when you cannot. This guarantees that your wishes will be followed regarding extraordinary medical measures taken during terminal illnesses or vegetative states. It gives you peace of mind and also gives direction to your doctors and caregivers.