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Advice on Estate Planning Services
Old 01-01-2010, 06:45 PM   #1
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Advice on Estate Planning Services

We've had some family changes that necessitate: (1) finding a new executor for our wills, and (2) defining a trust-like mechanism to manage assets for my son during his young adulthood, should DW and die. So I have a few questions:
  1. If you couldn't choose a trusted family member to be the executor for your will, who would you choose, and how would you go about finding them? My first instinct is to ask friends to recommend local law firms that specialize in estate planning. I'd like an institution, not just an individual, for continuity. What about banks? Any other good options?
  2. If you needed to put some controls in place over a potential large inheritance to a young adult, but wanted to keep it as simple and private and cheap to administer as possible, what would you do? I know that a trust is the usual approach, but are there any "pre-packaged" trusts out there, or even investment products that would serve the same function?
  3. Does anybody have experience using either Vanguard or USAA as a trustee?

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Old 01-02-2010, 05:28 AM   #2
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I would start here for background reading.
Wills, Trusts, Living Wills, Estate Tax, Probate & Estate Planning – Free Law Resources – Nolo

NOLO puts out some excellent legal guides in hardcopy.

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Old 01-03-2010, 11:28 AM   #3
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I would go with a trust. It is the only sure way to have your will carried out.
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:41 AM   #4
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Agree about the trust. This is not DIY and lawyers are not cheap. I can't speak for financial institutions in the US, but I have done all my estate planning with the private client division of my bank and found it to be a well managed process. The only fees I paid were the lawyer's, and we minimized those because we did all the preparatory work upfront. I'll let you know how it all works out after I'm dead....
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