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Trusts, Wills, POA's etc
Old 12-05-2009, 11:21 AM   #1
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Trusts, Wills, POA's etc

Anyone versed in the nuances of Wills, trusts, POA's. I assume (most)everyone needs a Will and POA's (health, financial etc); but to what extent does the expertise of the "preparer" matter. Also, reagarding a trust; is this legal document absolutely needed if one does not have considerable assets like investment property or a "huge" estate (ie., less than 2 million). We had all this done (Will, poa, trusts) in NC by a certified estate attorney for about 2k .We now live in Ga and a general practice attorney says we have to re-do everything at again considerable costs which to me sounds a bit absurd since we've divested ourselves of most of our investment RE holdings. Would a "simple" Will be enough to handle our IRA/ Retirement holdings and personal home initially to the surviving spouse and then to the kids.

Anyone have any estimates on their costs runs for all this? Up sides/ Down sides ??
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:30 PM   #2
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You do need new docs for the new state.

You may get away with a simple will without trusts if you are confident that the last of you to die will not have a taxable estate, but estate tax laws change and are changing, and you need to talk to a Georgia lawyer about what you actually need. Estate planning is an area ripe for screw-ups so using someone who knows what they are doing is important. The documents are easy. What you are paying for is the decisions on what needs to be done and how best to do it. Your situation may be simple enough to keep the cost down below the $2000 you paid before.

Charges vary a lot by community. I first typed in my guess range but it is too much of a guess and I just don't know what is the range in your part of the country. At my old office (with notable estate planners) typical charges for a husband and wife with enough assets to need to address tax consequences is probably a couple of thousand and will go higher the more complex the situation is. I favor using experts in the area and it might not cost you more to use the best because they are efficient and have an inside out understanding of the law.
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:43 PM   #3
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AARP has a searchable database of attorneys. Can be accessed from this page.
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:54 PM   #4
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To find a good estate planning attorney, you can ask attorneys that practice in other areas of the law and ask other professionals, such as accountants and business owners, who they use.

FWIW, a listing of lawyers and their practice areas can be found at Lawyers Find A Lawyer, Law Firm, Attorney & Legal Services: martindale.
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:09 PM   #5
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Don't really have an estimate on cost, but you might consider getting a few more opinions from lawyers in GA. I would have thought with existing docs in hand, assuming no major changes, it would be a pretty simple task.
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:27 PM   #6
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Most of these docs are boilerplate. The hard part is figuring out who will be the guardian of your minor-aged kids and who will be trustee for them. Those decisions should've been made already with the original set of documents.

So shop around.

Our set was $600 per person or $1200 for husband and wife about 12 years ago. Got us each a will, bypass trust, durable POA, health care POA. I don't know what it would cost us nowadays.

We had a recommendation for an estate attorney and used it. The only question I had was "How many of your clients die every year?" I wanted to know that his work was actually being used and possibly tested by the legal system.
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Old 12-05-2009, 07:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
The only question I had was "How many of your clients die every year?" I wanted to know that his work was actually being used and possibly tested by the legal system.
DW and I had a GP lawyer (and friend) draft our wills. He died (young) a few yeas ago and as far as I know his will past any barriers.

The value he gave us (other than ensuring legality) was some suggestions on what to do if we both died with minor children. This included: how to split child care and financial care, when to give the offspring their inheritance and a few other things. No trust or POA was involved.

Money well spent.
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