Is a trust a preferable way to go with my will? Best way to establish a trust.
That is a great question since Wills and Trusts are something that people can “do it yourself” or with an affordable legal assist.
Part A of your question: Is a Trust a preferable way to go with my Will? It’s actually the other way around. People who choose to place their assets into a trust, add a pour-over Will to dispose of any assets left outside the trust after they pass away.
Part B of your question: Best way to establish a Trust? That depends on you. You can choose among legal forms that you purchase online, self-help law books and reasonably priced attorneys who specialize in estate planning. A few words on each of the choices:
Self-hep law books – This is a good starting place to get the big picture. What can a Will do? What does a Trust do? What are the limitations of each and how will that affect me? Legal.com’s bookstore has a selection of self-help law titles for people interested in learning more about estate planning. Some of the books have tear-out forms and/or CDs with forms that you can word process.
Legal Forms – These give you a convenient starting point to create and modify your Will or Trust. Many are specific to your state. The State Bar of California publishes a California Statutory Will that you can download for free. Even though it’s from a trusted source, just be aware that it might or might not meet all your specific needs, so be sure to get advice or read a book or articles on the topic. Search name of state estate planning or wills and trusts for more information.
Attorneys – For the greatest peace of mind, let a pro advise you. Use Legal.com’s Attorney Directory to find an estate planning attorney or law firm near you.
If you hire someone to create a Trust for you, ask whether their fee includes transferring your assets into the Trust. Some providers will charge a lot of money to create some documents, but leave you on your own to move your assets. The heavy listing is transferring title to real property into the legal name of your Trust along with all those bank and retirement accounts. So if someone wants a ton of money to print out a boilerplate for you, but not much else, consider moving on to an attorney or law firm that is willing to provide full service. A Trust is no good if there is nothing in it.
You may have access to a legal services plan as a benefit at work. Some legal plans even prepare your Will for you! LegalShield will draft a member’s Will and review a Trust that you create from a downloadable form. There is no extra charge since these benefits are basic to individual and family legal plans. Calling Legal.com, Independent Associate, toll-free to join 800-253-7271.
Standard disclaimers apply: This is not legal advice; a forum post does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please see Forum Guidelines and Terms of Service for more. Thanks!
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