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Prudence suggests, in an era of increasing deficits, a war against terrorism, rising energy costs threatening our domestic economy, etc. This is just one example of how good tax planning can save clients and their families substantial money in taxes. This explanation also assumes H and W will have one living trust for both of them. Alternately, H and W could each have their own living trust and each trust would provide for an A-B trust arrangement upon the death of the first spouse to die. When both spouses die, the successor trustee named by them distributes the remaining assets according to the terms of the trust.

Assume, for purposes of the following analysis, that H is the first spouse to die. Horgan Esq.

Living Trust Offers: How to Avoid Pitfalls

Why do more people have wills than living trusts? What are 5 common mistakes people make about their wills? Why do living trusts make sense compared to wills? Do you need a living trust?

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How does a so-called "AB Trust" save estate taxes? How does a typical "AB Trust" work? The important thing is not to stop questioning. Your lawyer may not have told you three key facts that you needed and were entitled to know: Probate the court process of administering your will and distributing your assets when you die is often very expensive, time-consuming, full of red-tape and hassle, and, most importantly, unnecessary and avoidable.

Many lawyers do not tell tehir own clients how much money the lawyer will charge for probating the client's will! You could choose, as an alternative to probate, to use a living trust instead of a will to distribute your estate and thereby avoid probate entirely. MISTAKE 4: Thinking that owning assets whether real estate or personal property as joint tenants with survivorship, with a family member, is a good way to avoid probate of those assets MISTAKE 5: Believing your lawyer had your own interest, and not his, at heart when he told you that all you really need is a will.

Most lawyers who prepare wills earn much, much more money in probate fees than they ever do from preparing wills.

Many clients do not realize this. As a client, you need to know: Using a will requires that your estate go through probate.

Education is needed

Legal fees can be very large in probate. Lawyers and legal fees can be avoided with a living trust. Lawyers love probate. Clients hate probate. With a Will:.

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With a Living Trust:. No protection from court-appointed, expensive guardians, in event of disability. No court-appointed guardian. No expenses or fees. You choose who will be in charge of your assets. Wills and all probate proceedings are open to the public. Your assets, your debts and your family's affairs are open to the public.

Your lawyer earns a big fee! Often 20, 30 or more times the fee charged for your will!

Do I Need an Attorney for My Living Trust?

Trusts and wills are tax neutral; using one or the other does not necessarily result in tax savings. But the process of preparing and funding a living trust involves more consideration of the client's assets and, as a genral rule, persons who have living trusts pay less estate taxes than those who have wills. Wills can be contested on various grounds, and the legal standard to successfully challenge a will is easier to meet than for a trust.

Trusts are harder to challenge successfully, and thus are less often contested. You can make changes easily, no formalities required and usually no fees required. Income to spouse for life. Surviving spouse can have right to invade principal for education, support, maint.

Upon W's death, trust may provide that the assets go to children can include trusts for minor or disabled children, or staggered distributions. B Trusts assets are not part of W's estate for estate tax purposes. Thus, assets put into this trust by-pass taxes in the surviving spouse's estate.

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If so, where do you live in the meantime? In New York City, there are thousands of so-called paper millionaires because the value of homes has soared over the years. The standard way to leave a home to an heir is through a will. Considering and discussing these options can be difficult for everyone involved, but financial advisers encourage people to tackle them sooner rather than later. A simple will works best when the potential heirs of a home all get along and the person chosen to be the executor of the estate lives in the same state where the home is.

But if there are multiple heirs in different financial brackets, disagreements may break out over whether to keep or sell an inherited home.

What AARP won’t tell you about retirement planning

In such cases, experts suggest setting up a trust. When assets are left through a will, about 5 to 15 percent of the total value of the estate goes to pay probate and legal fees, said Kevin Ruth, the head of wealth planning and personal trust at Fidelity Investments. Creating a trust, however, can lower those costs and be paid by you upfront. And named beneficiaries of a trust do not have to go through probate.

Timins said. About 53 percent of people who formed a trust were trying to avoid family squabbles, according to a survey by WealthCounsel , an education and software firm for estate lawyers. That person should be comfortable taking on the responsibility, Mr. Ruth said. Although Mr. Ruth, the expert, to handle things. After a family discussion, Mr. Trusts can be irrevocable or revocable; each has its pros and cons, far too complicated to describe here.

Simply put, in an irrevocable trust, the grantor surrenders the right to call off the arrangement. Jeffrey L.

Estate Planning Remains a Moving Target Under the New Tax Law

Page by page, this practical guide will help you: Address the numerous issues that should be considered before first meeting with a living trust lawyer and other key players in this arena Establish and manage your living trust over the course of your life as well as prepare it to carry out your financial wishes once you and your spouse have passed on Identify potential inheritance problems now, so you can build solutions into your living trust before it's too late Distribute living trust assets to future generations and protect those assets once the transfer is complete And much more Throughout the book, Condon provides you with real-world examples that illustrate key points or clarify particular concepts.

You Live You Learn. Consequences of the Unforgiven Loan. Who Are Your Grandchildren? The NotSoGood News. Who Pays the Estate Tax?