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Wills Estates & Trusts
Old 08-22-2017, 12:25 AM   #1
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Wills Estates & Trusts

Mrs Scrapr has a friend that is going to go to a presentation on Wills Estates & Trusts. She has been bugging me about doing "something". She says "The State will take everything:.
I have told her the dinners are come ons for insurance/annuity agents. Our investment money is set up with beneficiaries. Each to the other. Possible problem is that the plane goes down on the way to Paris with both of us on. I suppose at that point the State would distribute according to a formula. We have one boy 21 years old who is still finding his way

I don't see a pressing need for a complicated set up with A/B trusts, etc. I am going to see our business lawyer soon so will run it past him

Any advice?
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Old 08-22-2017, 05:35 AM   #2
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none . every situation calls for something different .

don't see a business lawyer . see an estate attorney . it is like seeing a cardiologist for a urinary tract issue
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:04 AM   #3
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Those dinners are a come on as you say. However, it is definitely worth it to have a will, and a trust that lets your assets bypass probate when you die. I have had both for years.
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:34 AM   #4
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Those dinners are a come on as you say. However, it is definitely worth it to have a will, and a trust that lets your assets bypass probate when you die. I have had both for years.
Some dinner talks are come-ons, I suppose. Depends on who's giving the talk. I work part time in a law office and know our attorneys give talks on wills, trusts and estates. (But, they're too cheap to pay for dinners!)
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Old 08-22-2017, 07:37 AM   #5
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A trust has main purpose to avoid probate. Best advice as stated by previous answers is go talk to an estate attorney in your state.
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Old 08-22-2017, 08:04 AM   #6
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Generally speaking a free meal means annuity salesperson but not always. Plus, if it is an annuity salesperson with an estate lawyer doing the dog and pony show then it's probably not the estate lawyer for you. I said probably because there are great estate lawyers that do that stuff. I like to keep my estate lawyers and my annuity salespeople separate though.

You are better off asking your business lawyer for a referral to an estate specialist lawyer.
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:07 AM   #7
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A trust has main purpose to avoid probate. Best advice as stated by previous answers is go talk to an estate attorney in your state.
There are other, very simple ways to avoid probate that have been discussed on this forum - just have named beneficiaries or TOD on everything.

Just like a Ford dealer is unlikely to recommend a Chevy to you, I'd pretty much expect an Estate Attorney will say a trust is just what you need. To a hammer salesman, every problem looks like a nail.

There's good reasons for trusts for some people, I don't think it is an automatic though, and may not be needed by OP.

-ERD50
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:50 AM   #8
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A trust has main purpose to avoid probate. ...
Actually not, though the free-dinner attorneys may have led you to believe this. The main purpose of their trusts is to line their pockets. Bypassing probate is kind of a red herring IMO.

The main purpose of most trusts is to allow the grantor to control the management of the money and to control what it is used for.

Example: A child with physical or mental disabilities might be the beneficiary of a "special needs trust." Such a trust is designed to make their life more pleasant without their becoming disqualified for the public benefits they may otherwise be entitled to.

Example: A "cabin trust" might be created with money to cover taxes, maintenance, etc. on a family cabin bequeathed to the grantor's children. This finesses the situation where one child may be unable or unwilling to pay his share. The cabin itself might also be put into a trust to protect it from insolvency or divorce of one of the children.

Example: In our estate plan, we create two trusts -- one for each child. (We're spending as fast as we can, but they will still probably get north of $1M each.) One of the children has no money sense at all, will spend like a lottery winner, and probably be broke in three years. The other is conservative but completely unsophisticated, so would consider CDs to be an exotic investment. Both would be vulnerable to predatory "financial advisors" from Eddie Jones, et al. By specifying how the trusts are to be invested and the specific circumstances for disbursements, both kids will be in much better shape than if they simply had a big pot of money dropped on them. The OP's "boy 21 years old who is still finding his way" might be an excellent candidate to be the beneficiary of such a trust.

So, to the OP, I echo the advice to consult a specialist. Your business lawyer can probably give you some names. Then work with the specialist to develop an estate plan that makes sense. IMO you will end up considering it to be money well spent.

Edit: Forgot a very common example. Dad dies first, mom has never had anything to do with the family finances, has no ability to run the money. Dad's will puts all the money into a professionally managed trust FBO the wife. Trustee has the authority to generously pay expenses for the wife's well being. (the lawyers have some standard phrases for this.) Trustee's control of the money somewhat protects mom from scammers, including possibly her care-givers or kids. When mom dies, the balance of the trust goes to charity, to the kids, or whatever.
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Old 08-22-2017, 04:08 PM   #9
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Thanks all. Good stuff to ponder over.

If my business lawyer can't do this (or prefers not) he will send us to a good lawyer. He is very straight arrow. He is managing partner in a medium size firm so there may be another lawyer in his firm that would work for us. Absolutely agree on a will. and we will get that done.

Old Shooter read between the lines on my boy. The worst thing in the world for him right now is a bunch of money.

If i died first does Vanguard have a fund that disburses a set amount per year? I vaguely remember something about that. All of our money is in VG.
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Old 08-22-2017, 04:39 PM   #10
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... If my business lawyer can't do this (or prefers not) he will send us to a good lawyer. He is very straight arrow. He is managing partner in a medium size firm so there may be another lawyer in his firm that would work for us. Absolutely agree on a will. and we will get that done.
Trusts & Estates is a specialty, but most large firms will have a couple of people on staff that do only that. I'm assuming your biz guy is in the same state; you do need someone with expertise in your state law too. IIRC our work cost us about $4K.

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Old Shooter read between the lines on my boy. The worst thing in the world for him right now is a bunch of money.
You can start with a blank sheet of paper and be very creative. Pay for education/tuition and living expenses as long as a GPA is maintained, for example. Another option is to pay out the trust as the beneficiary ages. 1/4 at age 25, 1/3 of the balance at 30, etc. Again the trust protects the money in the event of insolvency, judgments, divorced spouses, etc. One of the lines in our trusts re disbursements is "It is not our intention that our son will not have to work for a living."

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If i died first does Vanguard have a fund that disburses a set amount per year? I vaguely remember something about that. All of our money is in VG.
Your attorney will explain options depending on your preferences and the size of the trust. IMO a trustee should have some discretion on payout amounts so he/she can react to things that happen like paying for long term care, a new car, a move and rent for an assisted living apartment, ... You may, though, (groan!) have to pay 2% or more for investment management and trustee duties if you hire a bank or a professional. Using family or a friend as trustee has its own obvious pitfalls.
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Old 08-22-2017, 04:39 PM   #11
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Thanks all. Good stuff to ponder over.

If my business lawyer can't do this (or prefers not) he will send us to a good lawyer. He is very straight arrow. He is managing partner in a medium size firm so there may be another lawyer in his firm that would work for us. Absolutely agree on a will. and we will get that done.

Old Shooter read between the lines on my boy. The worst thing in the world for him right now is a bunch of money.

If i died first does Vanguard have a fund that disburses a set amount per year? I vaguely remember something about that. All of our money is in VG.
Of course you can get an annuity that does precisely that and Vanguard does sell them also. Even in a will you could set up a testimentary trust that would not pay principal until an age you specify. In the past before estate tax exemptions could be transfered between spouses, Wills often set up testimenary trusts to avoid double taxation, i.e. the first to die spouses assets where put into the trust for the benefit of the spouse and then the ultimate beneficiaries. In particular when the exemption on federal estate tax was less than 1 million.
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:19 PM   #12
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And, something else I did not see mentioned yet. In addition to the good points mentioned by OldShooter, you should also consider what happens when you become incapacitated - and the chances are pretty good that someone will be at some point in their life. All's "fine" if you both die in an accident, but what happens when there's only one left and they lose their marbles? A trust can be very helpful in this situation. Absent that, an appropriate Power of Attorney can be employed. Beneficiary designations are only good when you meet your maker. Guardianships are generally not the best way to deal with the situation. In addition to the avoiding probate issue, trusts can help with incapacity issues and all of the points brought up by OldShooter.

Note - if you have a testamentary trust that is created through your Will when you pass, you normally have to go through the probate process in order to get the asset titled into the trust.

I'm making general statements here - it's important to understand that these laws are governing by state statutes, so what is true in one place may not be in another.
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:21 PM   #13
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Mrs Scrapr has a friend that is going to go to a presentation on Wills Estates & Trusts. She has been bugging me about doing "something". She says "The State will take everything:.
I have told her the dinners are come ons for insurance/annuity agents. Our investment money is set up with beneficiaries. Each to the other. Possible problem is that the plane goes down on the way to Paris with both of us on. I suppose at that point the State would distribute according to a formula. We have one boy 21 years old who is still finding his way

I don't see a pressing need for a complicated set up with A/B trusts, etc. I am going to see our business lawyer soon so will run it past him

Any advice?
Order the chicken,
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Old 08-26-2017, 09:00 PM   #14
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Order the chicken,
The chicken tends to be dry and rubbery at these catered dinners. The salmon is usually not fresh. What about the beef?
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