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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.

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