FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When Should I Do A Will?
- When you have children (so you can name guardians).
- When you have any assets that you want to give to certain people.
- When the fair market value of your assets is less than $150,000.
Whe How Much Does it Cost to Create a Living Trust Estate Plan?
- Quality, Individualized Living Trusts cost on average about $2,000 – $3,500 to create, and trust administration after death costs on average about $3,000 – $6,000.
Should I Do A Living Trust NOW or Wait Until I’m Older (or the Kids Are Older)?
Ask yourself these questions …
- Is it important to me to make things easier on my family if I should suddenly be gone?
- Will there be enough money to pay for the probate costs and estate taxes if I decide not to do a trust now? Remember that those costs will come out of your beneficiaries’ inheritances.
- Do I have specific ideas about things I would want to happen if I was not around? i.e., Whom would I want to raise my children if I am unable to do so? How old I would want my child to be before he or she inherits a lot of money (i.e., $100,000 or more)? Do I want to provide for my pets? Are there any charities I want to leave anything to? A qualified estate planning attorney can also help you with these important decisions by providing valuable information and legal options available for your unique situation.
How Does a Living Trust Save Money?
- Living Trusts avoid the probate process if they are properly funded and well-drafted.
- Probate costs range from approximately $10,000 to $50,000 or more for most families. The probate process lasts approximately 1 year, but sometimes stretches to 2 or more years, and requires public disclosure of your assets and family members, creditor notices, court hearings, probate appraisals, and court approval of most actions. Probating an estate is a huge hassle and burden for family members or friends, and ties up assets during the pending probate until final distribution is approved.
- Living Trusts may help a family avoid the necessity of a conservatorship if dementia or incapacity becomes a concern. Conservatorships can cost $5,000 – $10,000, or more.
When Should I Do a Living Trust?
- When the fair market value of your assets is more than $150,000 (i.e., you own your own home).
- When you have children and you want to be able to provide for them through college or later by delaying their inheritance until they are older, for example 50% when they are 21 years old and 50% when they are 25 years old, etc.
- When you have a “blended” family and you want to preserve money for your children or your spouse’s children from a previous marriage.
BOTTOM LINE: ESTATE PLANNING IS SOMETHING YOU DO BEFORE YOU NEED IT.