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Subject:  Re: Trusts & IRAs Date:  12/14/2012  8:55 PM
Author:  pauleckler Number:  18128 of 22424

We have talked to several SC attorneys who have recommended a trust to avoid Probate and years of attorney fees.

We have just been through this with an aunt in Missouri who used a living trust to avoid probate costs. Resolving her trust took a year and a half and cost $5K in legal fees. That was after she spent several thousand to set up the trust, and had legal fees from time to time to make adjustments.

Trust is useful for privacy. Your papers are not available to the public in your local courthouse.

Trust is useful especially if either of you has children from a previous marriage (or a variety of special situations such as minor children, dependents with special needs, etc).

Trust is useful if your estate value including IRAs and life insurance exceeds the federal estate tax minimums.

Otherwise, it is usually possible to put TODs (transfer on death) on most assets. This avoids probate for most assets. Your IRA already has designated beneficiaries. But make sure you have assets to cover estate taxes if any and your final expenses (funeral, burial, tombstone, outstanding bills).
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