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Living Trust
Old 11-23-2004, 03:36 PM   #1
 
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Living Trust

Does anyone use a living trust?
What are the advantages for you?
Do I need to hire a lawyer to set one up? If so, how much should I expect to pay?

Can I do it myself?

Thanks.
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Re: Living Trust
Old 11-23-2004, 04:57 PM   #2
 
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Re: Living Trust

Hello John Blake. I do 90% of my own routine
legal forms and stuff. The living trust is one I would not tackle, but it could be partly laziness I guess.

John Galt
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Re: Living Trust
Old 11-23-2004, 05:50 PM   #3
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Re: Living Trust

I am going to set up a living trust this next year. *I found some different software to write your own Living trust, but I am only using that as a base. *Then I will take all my documents to my attorney to make sure I didn't miss anything. *I haven't priced it with him yet, but believe it will be 1000-2000. *

Quicken Lawyer and Suze Orman's Personal Protection Plan (or something like that) have the necessary forms. *

Do some online searching, maybe Nolo Press has a book on it also. * *If they have one, then we can do it ourselves.

Here's the link for Nolo Press. They do have a book.

http://www.nolopress.com/lawcenter/i...87838F86A2BC2B
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Re: Living Trust
Old 11-23-2004, 05:56 PM   #4
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Re: Living Trust

The nice thing about going to a lawyer and CPA is that you can get the pros and cons, both from a legal aspect and tax aspect. *And you can get ideas and alternatives that you may not have though of. *For example, have you looked into using a family limited partnership instead of a living trust?

I would only caution that each state may have its own laws and tax effects, so any non-professional answer you get here should be reviewed with a professional, especially if it could cause unintended legal and tax consequences if not fully understood.
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Re: Living Trust
Old 11-24-2004, 09:32 AM   #5
 
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Re: Living Trust

I realize that they are supposed to be the experts but my experience using 'professionals' for financial and tax matters is very negative. The one year I hired a CPA to do my taxes, he cost me $800 and did a terrible job. Later I talked with a differnt CPA who started telling me that the questions I was asking were too complex, and that I wouldn't understand (just hire her).

I've never hired a lawyer (well, maybe once a long time ago )

Maybe I should start with the Nolo book.
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Re: Living Trust
Old 11-24-2004, 09:34 AM   #6
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Re: Living Trust

If you start with the Nolo book, at least you will have an understanding of the different forms. I think I will start with that as well and skip the software for now. I still plan on having my attorney (he's a friend and charges me less) check as I have 2 kids, 1 still a minor. I'm glad you started this thread, I had forgotten about Nolo until you asked.
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Re: Living Trust
Old 11-24-2004, 10:00 AM   #7
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Re: Living Trust

When deciding whether to have a living trust, be sure you know what your goals are and whether this is the best way to achieve those goals. Are you trying to reach beyond the grave and control how your heirs receive and spend money? Are you trying to avoid probate? If so, why? Some states probates should be avoided because of the cost and delays, but in other states, probate is quick, easy and informal.

What assets are going to be in the trust? What assets are better held in a different form? You need to answer these questions. A living trust does not protect assets in the trust from creditors and sometimes exposes assets that would otherwise be exempt from creditors to creditor claims.

Trusts are one area I recommend consulting a lawyer who is well respected in the estate planning field.



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JohnBlake, here's some Hawaii options.
Old 11-24-2004, 10:07 AM   #8
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JohnBlake, here's some Hawaii options.

First try reading David Larsen's books. He's still writing columns and working in the field. Here's an Amazon review of one book but they're all available through interlibrary loan (probably from my local branch!).
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books

Next try Sterling & Tucker. They give some seminars on neighbor islands but it's all covered on their website at http://www.sterlingandtucker.com/daU...pohl_book2.htm . Michelle is quite approachable and works well by phone or e-mail.

Having watched my father execute my grandfather's estate, I'd like to set up a living trust just to minimize the probate costs. Sterling & Tucker quote about $2500-$3000 for setup & maintenance, which seems much better than my grandfather's simple probate of $4500. Spouse and I just updated our wills and now I'm trying to get around to interviewing & choosing the right lawyers. Let me know if you run across any good deals...
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