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Cheers!

I've spent the last few hours investigating RVTs for my 77 year old mother, and it does seem like this estate planning tool could be a good choice for her. However, her interest was raised by a salesman from a company called The Patriot Group, Inc. in Mesa, AZ. I haven't been able to find out anything about this firm, except to verify it's address on Yahoo.

If anyone has expereince with this firm, please email me your comments.

Thanks!

Carl
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carlguernsey: "I've spent the last few hours investigating RVTs for my 77 year old mother, and it does seem like this estate planning tool could be a good choice for her."

I cannot answer your original question, but I your post raised an issue in my mind. Revocable Living Trusts have a number of uses, but they do nothing to reduce federal estate taxes --- all assets in the revocable living trust would still be part of your mother's taxable estate, but would not pass through probate.

Hope this helps. Regards, JAFO

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They say that just like annuities, living trusts are being heavily promoted and often are sold for excessive fees to people who don't need them. Much depends on the probate requirements in your mother's state. In some states like New Jersey, living trusts are not recommended. However, if your mother's estate is larger than the $675K Federal Estate Tax deduction (slowly increasing to $1MM), she should be looking at an estate plan.

Look out for promoters. Get help from a local attorney who specializes in estate law. Get recommendations from your friends and relatives.

The continuing education department of my high school recently offered a 2 hr course on living trusts for $9.50. Not a bad way to begin. Of course the attorney who taught the course was looking for new business.
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Thanks, JAFO!

Mom is aware that an RLT would not help with federal taxes. In fact, her estate will be too small to trigger Federal estate taxes. She has been hearing horror stories about state probate fees (and associated legal fees) in Arizona. I would be happy if anyone could direct me to a source of information about what these laws really are in AZ.

Thanks again - I'm always amazed at the sense of comunity here on the Fool boards.

Carl
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Carl,

Don't know anything about the Patriot group but would reiterate some of the comments about need for a Revocable Living Trust.

This seems to be an up and coming area (like variable annuities), but if a persons estate is under the $675,000 exemption (going to $1 million by 2005), they don't have to worry about federal estate tax, and, in most cases, can avoid probate, just by titling property and assets properly (e.g. name IRA beneficiaries, quit claim deed the house, joint ownership of other assets).

Your comment "her interest was raised by a salesman" is worrisome, and I would get another opinion or two before proceeding.

Good Luck,

ez
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carlguernsey: "Thanks, JAFO!"

Your welcome.

"Mom is aware that an RLT would not help with federal taxes. In fact, her estate will be too small to trigger Federal estate taxes. She has been hearing horror stories about state probate fees (and associated legal fees) in Arizona. I would be happy if anyone could direct me to a source of information about what these laws really are in AZ."

Hope I did not sound insulting, but so many people confuse not passing through probate with not paying FET that I like to clarify.

I do not know th Arizona law, but I will offer a few suggestions:

1. The obvious, visit with a local lawyer.

2. Check with the local county and/or state bar association; many of them have simple overview summaries or can point you in the right direction.

3. Do an on-line search and see if the Arizona stautes and/or code are available on-line.

4. Go a law school library (possibly a good big city library) and find the Martindale-Hubbell publication (about 10 volumes or so, as I recall); it is updated yearly, but one of the later volumes contains a summary of state law; it should reference probate process and fees. Some portion of M-H is available on-line, but I do not know if the law summary is available.

5. Ask the county clerk.

Hope some of this helps. Regards, JAFO







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