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Trust/Will Preparation?
Old 10-19-2005, 09:29 AM   #1
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Trust/Will Preparation?

I just found this site and it seems highly recommended. It is also cheap.

After my first meeting with a lawyer, I think a Living Will, Living Trust, and Pour-Over Will is going to set me back about $3000. And the stuff I'm doing is dead simple.

Anyone use this LegalZoom organization (Robert Shapiro started it) and does anyone see drawbacks?

Thanks.
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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?
Old 10-19-2005, 09:38 AM   #2
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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldAgePensioner
I just found this site and it seems highly recommended. It is also cheap.

After my first meeting with a lawyer, I think a Living Will, Living Trust, and Pour-Over Will is going to set me back about $3000. And the stuff I'm doing is dead simple.

Anyone use this LegalZoom organization (Robert Shapiro started it) and does anyone see drawbacks?

Thanks.
can you give us the link, I need to make one as well.
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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?
Old 10-19-2005, 09:51 AM   #3
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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?

I think this stuff cost me about $1800. Perhaps you should just shop around?

If you are hellbent on the cheapest solution, how about a Prepaid Legal membership? Includes a will at sign up (plus sharreholders like me would be happy...).
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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?
Old 10-19-2005, 09:51 AM   #4
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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldAgePensioner
does anyone see drawbacks?
For me that would be a lot of money.
My life situation is pretty simple though, so I can use "canned" Will, Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney from Nolo/Intuit Will-Maker ($39, but sometimes comes included with Quicken updates).
No idea about Living Trust.


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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?
Old 10-19-2005, 11:51 AM   #5
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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?

MJ, it's www.legalzoom.com and since it was started by Robert Shapiro it seems like he has a vested interest in keeping his name clean.


Brewer, thanks for the PrePaid Legal suggestion. I've heard good things about them.

My real goal is not money but it's how to do it with the least pain. My brother just had his Trustee die (small law firm) and now he's looking to redo everything to avoid the sucessor trustee who he is leary of.

What about CitiCorp Trust, does anyone use them.
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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?
Old 10-19-2005, 12:53 PM   #6
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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?

Most of this stuff is boiler plate. If you're doing a dead (heh) simple will, check out Nolo or one of those will software packages.

If the lawyer is going to charge you $3000, that sounds to me like he's going to hold your hand and interview you to get data that you can easily write down yourself before hand.
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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?
Old 10-19-2005, 02:15 PM   #7
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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?

Husband and I did the Trust/Will two-step a couple years ago.* Several members of the family have had living trusts.* I assure you it saves a major hassle at the end of life or when others will need pay your bills.

You can always change trustees by amending the trust.* I would never name an attorney unless s/he were a person who I would ask if they weren't an attorney.* The trustee should be at least 20 years younger than yourself if you are 50+ years old IMHO.* When you are 80, they will be 60.* Provide a process for naming successor trustees (people die or become PITAs with the passage of time), and if you have any doubt provide that expenditures be reviewed periodically (or upon the sale of a significant assett) by a CPA for compliance with the terms of the trust.*

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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?
Old 10-19-2005, 02:35 PM   #8
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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?

I left out a few details.

1. I have no one who wants to be a Trustee.(Leaves me with a lawyer only option)
2. All the assests will be cash. (I.e., dead simple)
3. I want to set up small annuities for each surviving conniver sibling.
4. Residuary to go to UCLA scholarship funding.

SO:

Living Will = Pull plugs, cremeate me and pay the bill.
Living Trust = Trust to take effect at death, and spawn annuities, etc.
Pour-Over-Will = Add everything not in trust, into trust.

Lawyers here in Chicago want $300/hr just to hear what you want.

Anyone in Chicago have a good lawyer?


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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?
Old 10-19-2005, 03:58 PM   #9
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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?

Since the major role of a trustee in a living trust is to pay the bills when you can't, consider a CPA. They are usually cheaper than a lawyer. Another option are state certified conservators.
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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?
Old 11-01-2005, 07:00 AM   #10
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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?

Well, I got the legal stuff done and brewer1234 hit the cost right on, $1,800. For that I got:

1. Living Will and Declaration of Healthcare Surrogate (brother)
2. Grantor Revocable Trust (after death, funds are metered out) professional Trustee after death.
3. Pour-Over Will
4. Power of Attorney for Financial matters (brother)

I met with 4 lawyers and all I can say tactfully is, not all lawyers were created equal.
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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?
Old 11-01-2005, 09:21 AM   #11
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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldAgePensioner
Well, I got the legal stuff done and brewer1234 hit the cost right on, $1,800.* For that I got:

1.* Living Will and Declaration of Healthcare Surrogate (brother)
2.* Grantor Revocable Trust (after death, funds are metered out) professional Trustee after death.
3.* Pour-Over Will
4.* Power of Attorney for Financial matters (brother)

I met with 4 lawyers and all I can say tactfully is, not all lawyers were created equal.
My first set of these documents (one set for me, one set for DW) cost me $4000 for both sets in 1997 in IL. Since then, I have had to rewrite mine and create a new set for my new wife along with doing a bunch of title transfers and beneficiary changes and a research project on some things from my late wife's estate. All told it was around $6000. However, I felt I got a better package with much more detail and better suited to what I want and need than my first one. Having to execute a trust and manage it as a Trustee give one some insight.

I could have gotten it cheaper but I feel that overall, I got my money's worth with all the time that was spent on all these tasks.

If you can go cookie cutter, then do so....mine required too many specifics with the multiple families on both sides to have to deal with.
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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?
Old 11-01-2005, 09:38 AM   #12
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Re: Trust/Will Preparation?

SteveR,
I actually did a cookie cutter set myself and was tempted to do it myself but the $1,800 didn't hurt that much so now I can at least hold an attorney responsible for any flaws.

Having these documents in hand feels really good. Now I don't have to worry about a spendthrift sibling getting their hands on $500k when I die. It's going to be metered out in very small monthly amounts.
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