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IRAs will be distorted as you say in the beneficiary section of your IRA. In my view it is foolish to send your IRA money to your estate. Same for insurance policies.

Regarding creation of the trust, would maybe the attorney recommending the trust would get paid for creating the trust? My cynical side does not trust lawyers to do anything without first watching their pockets.

While SC may require probate, based on other states, that does not require an attorney and it may only mean your executor files your will with the court. Since the estate often cannot be distributed until months after death, use of an attorney to file papers may not speed the distribution of the estate.

Given the hourly rate of lawyers, I am willing to ask a few questions and determine whether or not their services are needed. Additionally, we have a letter of instruction to our executor making it clear we have no objection if she finds using an attorney is beneficial after our deaths. We trust her judgement - if we didn't we would not have named her to handle our affairs.

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