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Trust-pack
Old 05-08-2019, 07:04 AM   #1
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Trust-pack

Live in the Twin Cities of MN. We have been pitched a Trust-pack that includes:

A revocable living trust
A pour-over will
All durable POAs (for financial, med records)
A Health Care Directive and POA

Of course all of the paperwork arrives in a non-embossed leather folder.

This deal includes a contract for services which guarantees that there are no additional costs for any matter pertaining to the above, i.e., no phone call billing, no charges for amendments or document changes or additions, no settlement charges, etc, free annual reviews.

We own the land and house that we live on and no other properties. Most of our Net Worth is tied up in Qualified Retirement Accounts. We have two sons, both trustworthy, one married, no grandchildren.

The cost is $2895.00.

Is this a good deal?
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:59 AM   #2
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so what do you have now?

How are the beneficiaries set for what you have now?

What do you want to happen when one or both pass?

edit - what you need and how complicated it may need to be depends on what you what accomplished. You may not require a trust, or you could need several. (doubt it based on you comments).

Avoiding probate may save you some $.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:22 AM   #3
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My credit union has lawyers that come in a few times a month. They provide:


A Will that may include trust provisions
Durable Power of Attorney (POA)
Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPOA) and Living Will
HIPAA Authorization


The price is $275/individual and $375/couple.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:02 AM   #4
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OP Here

We have a simple will only. No POAs , living will, etc.

We only wish to have our estate passed equally amongst our blood survivors, "per stirpes", which at this time means 50/50 to our two sons.
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:00 AM   #5
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Yes, we do want to have all the necessary POAs and living will. And we are "sold" on having an LRT. My big question is the cost.
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:10 AM   #6
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That's probably not a bad price. I was quoted $1,500 for a trust from my lawyer. I paid $500 for all of the other stuff you mentioned, so it would have cost around $2K for the package. I had another estate lawyer claiming the package would cost around $5k, but this was at one of those seminars and we never met with him personally.

For now, we have no need for a trust. Everything (including 2 homes) is either POD or TOD. No probate necessary.
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:30 AM   #7
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That's probably not a bad price. I was quoted $1,500 for a trust from my lawyer. I paid $500 for all of the other stuff you mentioned, so it would have cost around $2K for the package. I had another estate lawyer claiming the package would cost around $5k, but this was at one of those seminars and we never met with him personally.

For now, we have no need for a trust. Everything (including 2 homes) is either POD or TOD. No probate necessary.
IMHO the main function of a Trust is to avoid probate. If you have multiple properties in multiple states, if you have unruly family, friends or other external risk factors, etc. It's protection from lawyers and the fee's that come with them.

IF you simply own a home, have typical property like a vehicle or two, and a few retirement accounts all properly titled and beneficiaries listed... you can likely get away without a trust.

My sister has one as her life is complicated and she had a cancer scare that would have almost pushed the complexity to probate.

DF has one because he has multiple properties and DD has unruly ex.

DFIL has one because he owned his own business and was at higher risk of probate. He wanted his assets protected from that. Titled properties to Trust to do so.
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:54 AM   #8
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Does the price include re-titling assets/property into the trust or do you have to do that yourself?
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:59 AM   #9
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In the trust seminar we went to they were really pushing Irrevocable trusts to shield assets in order to get Medicaid (nursing home).

The other "push" was "Bip the pool boy" or "Buffy the gold digger". Basically, the lawyer was trying to go on the fears that all of your money will be going to your spouses next husband/wife instead of your kids.

Avoiding probate was way down the list - which was the main reason we considered a trust. So far, we have it set up where we won't need a trust to do that. Things could change, but I don't think I'll ever have a pool.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:21 AM   #10
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Yes, we do want to have all the necessary POAs and living will. And we are "sold" on having an LRT. My big question is the cost.
Your State probably has POA and living will forms on their State gov website. You just fill in the names and follow instructions regarding signing and you are done.

Your estate seems pretty simple, given the info.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:21 AM   #11
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the cost does not sound all that bad. We did a LT that goes into irrevocable trusts afterwards.

you'll likely save more in avoiding probate.
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:16 PM   #12
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I went to a RLT seminar and the package was $3900 for a couple or $3200 for an individual. It included the items you listed and re-titling a primary residence. Additional properties cost about $2-300 each. It was promoted as no additional cost for phone calls, follow-ups etc and free seminars for trustees.
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:06 PM   #13
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I used Nolo's WillMaker last year to do my estate planning. You can search this site for a previous post I made on my experience with this product.

Summary: the name 'WillMaker' is misleading, because it provides many documents typically found in a comprehensive estate plan. The cost is low compared to hiring a lawyer, and the documents generated by WillMaker are written in remarkably straightforward, easy-to-understand language. You do need to have a DIY bent to use the product. One option: try WillMaker, and if you aren't satisfied, have a lawyer draft your documents instead.

Good luck!
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by socca View Post
I used Nolo's WillMaker last year to do my estate planning. You can search this site for a previous post I made on my experience with this product.

Summary: the name 'WillMaker' is misleading, because it provides many documents typically found in a comprehensive estate plan. The cost is low compared to hiring a lawyer, and the documents generated by WillMaker are written in remarkably straightforward, easy-to-understand language. You do need to have a DIY bent to use the product. One option: try WillMaker, and if you aren't satisfied, have a lawyer draft your documents instead.

Good luck!
+1
We did the same thing. One of the things I liked about doing it this way, was that everything was explained... the where's and the why's...
It was more of an experiment, because we figured to go through an estate lawyer, just to be safe. Since one of our sons is a lawyer, we asked him. He had a friend who is an estate lawyer look it over with the result that he thought it was in perfect order. Our estate is quite simple, so can't speak to a more difficult or involved situation. As for the POA, and other documents that needed to be notarized it was simple... just took a little time.

Properties are all owned, with full documentation and the most important part is that our family is very close and supportive to us and to each other.

When either of us passes, the survivor will redo the will with a lawyer. In the meantime, we haven't had any expenses.
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:42 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by region2 View Post
Live in the Twin Cities of MN. We have been pitched a Trust-pack that includes:

A revocable living trust
A pour-over will
All durable POAs (for financial, med records)
A Health Care Directive and POA

Of course all of the paperwork arrives in a non-embossed leather folder.

This deal includes a contract for services which guarantees that there are no additional costs for any matter pertaining to the above, i.e., no phone call billing, no charges for amendments or document changes or additions, no settlement charges, etc, free annual reviews.

We own the land and house that we live on and no other properties. Most of our Net Worth is tied up in Qualified Retirement Accounts. We have two sons, both trustworthy, one married, no grandchildren.

The cost is $2895.00.

Is this a good deal?

I am also in the Twin Cities and went with a similar deal... We went though the entire process.. About 8 years later, we went for a visit with the Lawyer (Same One).. Only to make one change - The Executor of the trust.
He got us into a room and started asking us questions about the trust and turned it into a complicated 1 hour meeting and at the end of the meeting asked for about the same amount of money, as we had given him in the first place. When I mentioned that he said in his seminar that he claimed that all changes would be free of charge -- "He said "what do you think we are slaves?" We walked out and decided to write our own will.


Press the guy on what any changes will be down the road... Most of these people are shysters and Lie right to your face. I'd rather donate all my money to the state than give the lawyers a penny more.
Trust me they will want a lot more than your $2895 down the road.... I'll bet that they made you think that the $2895 is all you'd have to pay for the rest of your life..... Get that in writing from him!



I consider my $2800 a complete waste of my money! --- These people are crooks as far as I'm concerned. PM me and I'll give you the name of the Firm I dealt with here in the Twin Cities.
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:00 PM   #16
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I forgot to mention that as part of my DIY estate planning project I read a couple of excellent books from Nolo: Plan Your Estate and The Executor's Guide. Of course, this wasn't enough to magically turn me into a fully-fledged estate planning lawyer, but it was sufficient for my relatively simple estate (no spouse or children) - YMMV.
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:06 PM   #17
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We do not have a RLT, but this thread prompted me to pull out the wills and read them. We had wills drawn up in 2000. Cost $390 at the time for both (the old bill was still in my file). We have one DS, and everything will go to him.

Our lawyer at the time said he could draw up a trust, but it would be a waste of money. We had DS as (secondary) beneficiary on all accounts. Lawyer pointed out we could also file a beneficiary deed for the house (which we did). So 99% of the estate value is covered by POD or TOD.

We also have POA for healthcare.

What we don't have, and should probably look into is durable POA's for Financial matters.

To OP, your situation may be more complicated, but I would make sure you really NEED a trust.
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:17 PM   #18
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This is timely. DW has stage 4 cancer. Still treating but Hospice looms.So we met w/lawyer this week. Going in I thought since most financial accounts are POD/TOD we would only need a will for our long time business that we own together.

Upon explanation we decided on a trust. Our State (Oregon) has a tax on estates >$1 million. 10%! (and up) But ea partner has a $1 million exemption. So $1 million for DW & $1 million for myself. We will probably go over the 2 million exemptions. But we got to get this done soon. Or move out of State!

So there are other reasons for trusts
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:02 AM   #19
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I also live in MN and just last week completed the exact same package of services the OP described. I worked with a local law farm, I just paid the bill on Tuesday for $3,400. We didn't have an estimate from the law firm and I was anticipating $5,000 based on what I've heard from others.


This included 3 in office visits of over an hour each and complete deed transfers on 6 parcels of real estate.


The only homework I have to do is to contact our investment custodians to update the names and beneficiaries. They provided a sample letter to give them with the exact instructions and wording.


The main purpose for the irrevocable trust was to avoid probate. The second was to reduce exposure to Minnesota's Estate Tax. The thought of protecting assets from law suits or long term care never came up. We'll continue to carry responsible limits of liability insurance and plan on paying our own way.


If there are changes in the future we fully anticipate to pay the hourly rate the firm charges at that time.


This whole process has given us peace of mind knowing it will help our children when the time comes. The $3,400 spent now will easily be recovered in the future by avoiding probate on a 7 figure estate with 6 parcels of real estate, and reduced Minnesota Estate Tax. Not to mention the head ache it will eliminate.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:24 AM   #20
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It's impossible to answer the OP without knowing the qualifications and experience of the attorney, the timing to get it done, are there any extra costs. For a rookie attorney or a general practitioner that just fills in some forms $1,000 is too much. For a 30 year attorney who focuses exclusively on estate planning $5,000 is too cheap or at least very fair. You can't judge the value of an estate plan without talking about the qualifcations of the estate planner in my opinion.
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