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I just posted this same item on "Living Below Your Means", but thought it might be helpful to others here, too.

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We're just now finishing up establishment of our own Trust (which includes wills) to save our kids a lot of costs and complexities down the road. It's complicated, and not cheap, but we've signed it off and all now have copies, with the originals safely stored. Just a couple of minor details remain.

One of our own children went through the agony of dealing with her husband's parent when that parent died with no will or trust, a year or so ago, and is very grateful to us because she knows what her husband went through when his mother died with no will or trust. Costs and complications were terrible.

On the other hand, my wife found that dealing with her mother's trust when the mother died (the husband had died earlier) was VERY easy vs potential headaches of a will and probate court, etc. Took maybe 1/2 hour at the bank with the trust and death certificate in hand.

Anyone else in here who has done this or may be dealing with it now or in the future? (I hasten to add that we have had an excellent attorney working with us on this.)

Vermonter
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We have had our Trust for years. Yes, it can cost money, but not as much as the potential lawsuits if you die intestate.

I think we need to update the papers, as the Countess's brother has died (He was in the part of the beneficiary portion of the trust.) (OK, this is handled in the Trust, but all the same.)

Dad always claimed that his will would read, "I, Dad NoCount, being of sound mind and body, spent every last dollar I ever had before I died." He didn't quite succeed, but Mom NoCOunt took care of it.

CNC
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You might cross post this to the Estate Planning Board.

Don’t forget that now that you’ve drawn up this expensive document, it’s totally useless unless you fund it. You must now transfer all your assets into the trust - your house, your bank accounts, your brokerage accounts, etc. etc. etc. The only asset that does NOT go into your trust is retirement accounts such as IRA’s.

Trini
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Vermonter;

I am 66 years-old and set up a trust and will package about 18 months ago. I have five children and do not want any issues for them after I pass. Everything is clearly spelled out and I have already discussed the aspects of what is in it. There will be no surprises.

I have peace of mind. I must have gotten a great deal. I went through the lawyer on staff of a gentleman who has a radio program called The Retirement Income Hour and I paid just under $1000. For many years my deceased husband didn't want to get a trust because he said it was over $10k and we didn't have that. I never looked into it but I should have. Anyway, I have complete peace of mind now.


Robyn
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Trini:

Yes, our attorney saw to it that our home is all set and all possessions, etc., were moved into the trust. (We still get to specify notable items, of course.)

Vermonter
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On the other hand, my wife found that dealing with her mother's trust when the mother died (the husband had died earlier) was VERY easy vs potential headaches of a will and probate court, etc. Took maybe 1/2 hour at the bank with the trust and death certificate in hand.

In general, you don't need a trust to avoid potential headaches of probate for anything held at a bank.

Simply naming a beneficiary on your account will take care of things just as easy, will supersede the will/trust, and will avoid probate, all with that same death certificate.

In general, I advise AGAINST the cost of a trust unless you have specific unique needs (spend thrift, disabled adult child, etc.) as you can add a beneficiary to any financial asset and most real property these days (in the majority of states).
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In general, I advise AGAINST the cost of a trust unless you have specific unique needs (spend thrift, disabled adult child, etc.) as you can add a beneficiary to any financial asset and most real property these days (in the majority of states).

This is what I am doing. I do have a will but not a trust.

PSU
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Good on you, Vermonter! DH and I set up our "ruling from the grave instructions" (i.e. trusts cum wills cum POAs) a few years ago... want to make life as easy as possible for our executors.

I'm now starting on a what in Sweden is called a "death cleaning"... basically getting rid of all my excess stuff, putting my things in order. DH is not joining me yet -- he's still hanging on to his clutter. I'm hoping that when I've finished, he'll be inspired to start. Fingers crossed. ;-)

regards,
Kris
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Khemofan:

""ruling from the grave instructions" (i.e. trusts cum wills cum POAs) "

My gosh, yes. I was shocked to see all the paperwork, with POA's (one each for me, my wife and our daughter, who is our backup trustee after we both go), the multi-page actual Trust itself, Health POA's, etc. More damned paper! (I think lawyers did all this to provide work for other lawyers... even if ours is/was a sharp guy and a good man.)

Shouldn't be so complicated, but our older daughter, as I said, saw her husband go through bloody hell when his mother died with nothing set up!

Vermonter
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I'm now starting on a what in Sweden is called a "death cleaning"... basically getting rid of all my excess stuff, putting my things in order. DH is not joining me yet -- he's still hanging on to his clutter. I'm hoping that when I've finished, he'll be inspired to start. Fingers crossed. ;-)


Good on you, too, Chris.

The Countess has been de-cluttering the house for more than six months, with pitiful little help from me. My part has been to clean up the garden.

We plan to move to a retirement home as soon as there is an opening in the place of our choice. https://carlsbadbythesea.org/

CNC
... There is a waiting list. They told us two years, but that was 2½ years ago. They did offer us one opening, but we want two bedrooms in the main building.
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Hope it all happens soon for you, Cliff, and that you both will be as happy as we are!

Our health dept just reminded us to update our POLST forms.

Those are the forms that indicate what you want to happen such as how much you want to be resuscitated should certain major health-related events occur. It means your spouse or kids don't need to make agonizing decisions about such things as whether to you're to be kept alive on tubes while permanently comatose etc....they and the doctor have agreed do what you have stated you would like done.

As far as Trust and Wills go, ours are all done, but occasionally I have added a charity...DH has made no changes.

And as for stuff to be dumped...we're still working on that. DH is going through and cataloguing his collection of menus. Tonight he told me he is at #553 out of what we think are over a thousand menus. He is reliving our travels, famous restaurants, the countries, the food, the fun, or the joyful occasions of the home-made ones.....Everyone in our family has made a bet as to how many menus are actually in the collection....(hence today's "number" announcement to me) Don't know what the prize will be.

Maryanne
PS my bet is below a thousand so I think I am out of the running....
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Kris;

My cousin gave me the Swedish Art of Death Cleaning. Odd and gloomy title but it is anything but.
I have gone through the book and slowing decluttering even more than when I moved to my current home.
It feels good not to saddle my children with an entire home clean out after I die. My parents left that for me and it took nearly a year for the house and garage to be livable before selling.


Robyn
Lots of donations in the past and future.
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I can relate. I've almost got the garage cleared after moving 1poormom twice (two years ago, and again last fall). One big piece of furniture left. Donated all the lighter books to a chemo-facility for chemo patients to read while hooked up to their poison (for a bit of history, 1poorlady was in that room less than a year ago, and with COVID I wasn't allowed to go with her). Sold a few items. Kept a few items. Donated stuff to Goodwill. Tossed some stuff.

But our new EV is coming, and it will have a place in the garage. So 1poormom's stuff is going away. I may just end up tossing the last of it. Can't seem to sell it, and I certainly don't want it. Tried my best to get her something for her stuff. But a lot of it is truly worthless, even if she didn't think so.

1poorguy
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In general, you don't need a trust to avoid potential headaches of probate for anything held at a bank.

Simply naming a beneficiary on your account will take care of things just as easy, will supersede the will/trust, and will avoid probate, all with that same death certificate.



Not always true; it depends on the registration of the account. Community Property goes thru probate no matter what. Being at a bank makes no difference at all.
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Hawkwin said: In general...

Feedme said: Not always true


You understand that by definition, "in general" means "usually" or in other words, not always, right?


Community Property goes thru probate no matter what

Wrong (see, you probably should have said, "in general, it goes through probate...").

You can have an account titled 'Community Property with Rights of Survivorship' and it will likely avoid probate.

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/avoid-pro....

If you live in a community property state, you and your spouse (or registered domestic partner) may be able to avoid probate by taking title to property as “community property with the right of survivorship.”
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You understand that by definition, "in general" means "usually" or in other words, not always, right?

That phrase was in a different sentence. This sentence, posted by you, stands alone:

"Simply naming a beneficiary on your account will take care of things just as easy, will supersede the will/trust, and will avoid probate, all with that same death certificate."

And it is false, or at best misleading, because only certain registrations avoid probate. You can add beneficiaries to certain registrations and they *still* pass through probate. I work with such cases.

You can have an account titled 'Community Property with Rights of Survivorship' and it will likely avoid probate. If you live in a community property state, you and your spouse (or registered domestic partner) may be able to avoid probate by taking title to property as “community property with the right of survivorship.”


Why choose a registration which "may" avoid probate, when others *do*, such as JTWROS?
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That phrase was in a different sentence. This sentence, posted by you, stands alone:

I read his post differently than you did.

PSU
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This is why I trust my lawyer not do it yourself estate planning. A few hundred bucks every 5 years to discuss how laws have changed and how our situation has changed.

Yes we have a trust and I’m glad.
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