Author Topic: Trust and Estate Planning  (Read 1675 times)

WSUCoug1994

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Trust and Estate Planning
« on: January 17, 2017, 12:37:36 PM »
I did some searching but I couldn't really find what I was looking for in the results.

Trust and Estate planning is so expensive.  I know there are some online options but I am scared that when push comes to shove that they might not hold up.

Does anyone have advice for Estate Planning that doesn't cost $6-10K based on the proposals I have received?  Feels like these are pretty standard documents but I don't want to "cheap out" on something this important if the cost is worth the protection.

Would love to hear from the lawyer community for obvious reasons.  Thank you in advance for your time.

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Trust and Estate Planning
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2017, 03:12:47 PM »
[Not a lawyer, but have paid enough to lawyers that I'll never do that again]

Go to your local library and check out Quicken Willmaker.  They publish an update every year, and it's good in all 50 states.  You can read all you want from the book, or use the included CD-ROM / software to generate a 'last will and testament' document. 

If that's all you need, the task can be completed in around 20 minutes.  The book answers most of your questions, and they used to be located in the Emeryville area (NoloPress), so I'm sure they 'get' all the CA rules.

All the best!

Another Reader

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Re: Trust and Estate Planning
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2017, 03:42:30 PM »
Whether a book from Nolo Press meets your needs depends on your estate.  If you have significant assets and children that need guardians if you die, you are better off with an attorney.  A revocable living trust will allow most assets to pass outside probate, which in California is not cheap.  Trusts are often drafted from a template, but need modification for individual circumstances.

Frugalman19

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Re: Trust and Estate Planning
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2017, 03:58:33 PM »
Coming from someone who has to deal with trusts and estates everyday. You get what you pay for. If all youre getting done is a simple trust, its shouldn't be more than $2-3k but when you factor in the time on the back end that your estate will have to pay for the administrative nightmare that you might create, its well worth it.

If your quotes are coming in at $6-10k, then you owe it to your beneficiaries to pay someone to do it right. Those are really high quotes so I would assume you have plenty of assets, enough to justify the expense.

Im not a lawyer, im an advisor/accountant that deals with this all the time.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Trust and Estate Planning
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2017, 04:08:07 PM »
Those are really high quotes, although I know someone with significant assets in VHCOL who paid that much.  We paid $1500 for our estate planning and a simple trust in our MCOL city, which included guardianship for our children.

Do you know approximately what you need from an estate plan?  I would not DIY anything beyond a simple will if you have no children and an uncomplicated situation.  The good thing about using a lawyer is they also know everything you need - we did POA for healthcare at the same time as our estate plan.

WSUCoug1994

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Re: Trust and Estate Planning
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2017, 01:16:05 PM »
Thank you for the thoughts everyone.  I am not surprised by your feedback.  I figured this is something worth paying for.  My situation is a little complicated so that is why we have some higher bids.  No need to be penny-wise and pound foolish when it comes to Estate Planning - you all confirmed my gut feeling on this.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2017, 01:17:53 PM by WSUCoug1994 »

ltt

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Re: Trust and Estate Planning
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2017, 01:48:42 PM »
You should definitely see a lawyer--get some referrals.  But those costs listed are very high.