Living trust over will? - Posted by James B.

Posted by FJW on March 09, 1999 at 09:51:12:

But there are many books at the library on probate.


Living trust over will? - Posted by James B.

Posted by James B. on March 08, 1999 at 11:39:31:

I am only 28yrs old and only have a net worth of maybe 65K (not including life insurance). This includes my home,mutual funds,personal property,cash,autos,etc. I have a wife and a 2yr old child with another child on the way.
Can I place all my assets, including my life insurance policies in a living trust, and not bother with a will at all?
With this small of net worth (although with the life ins. policy, my net worth would be much more), if I just had a will would my estate automatically still go into probate? Is their a minimum $$ estate value before your estate goes into probate?
Would’nt creating a living trust and placing ALL my assets in there (including my life ins. policy), bypass probate and be better for my surviving family? Don’t I have to keep updating the trust information as my assets grow? How often do I need to do this? Where do I even get the forms to do this?
James B. (newbie)

You both need a will - Posted by Bud Branstetter

Posted by Bud Branstetter on March 13, 1999 at 18:10:42:

One of the problems is that you and the wife are together in most stituations. What is likely you kill you can do the same to her. In those situations the state may take custody of your children. Is that what you want? Living trusts become outdated and have to be modified or replaced. Title to your home is best in a land trust with the living trust as beneficiary. As your assets grow larger you will want limited liability entities to hold income producing assets.

One of the functions of probate is to revise title to things when you are no longer there to sign. Formal probate can be avoided for small estates. Because you may not properly title all assets you may still need probate. Try signing “James B., Trustee James B. Living Trust dated 4/1/99” to all your checks.

Re: Living trust over will? - Posted by Dave T

Posted by Dave T on March 09, 1999 at 21:55:22:

While you are on the topic, don’t forget about a living will and a health care power of attorney.

A Health Care Power of Attorney gives the person you name as your agent the power to make health care decisions for you if you cannot make the decisions for yourself (e.g., you are declared incompetent) – including the power to make decisions about life sustaining treatment.

A Living Will is a written declaration of your desires concerning life-sustaining procedures to be used to prolong your dying if your condition is terminal or you are in a state of permanent unconsciousness. You give specific instructions about your wishes to receive or withhold artificial nutrition and hydration if your condition is terminal or you are in a persistent vegetative state.

Sorry, but I shouldn’t have guessed. Please… - Posted by FJW

Posted by FJW on March 09, 1999 at 10:33:44:

accept my apology. In no way did I mean to imply that you don’t need a will if you have a living trust or vice versa. I responded based on my own families experiences and how it worked out for us after my father passed away. He did have a will, but it never came into play. It may in the future. Please seek out proper estate planning counsel.


Re: Living trust over will? - Posted by Irwin

Posted by Irwin on March 09, 1999 at 08:15:46:

This is interesting. We’re now Creative Estate Planning on line. I guess it will be called CEPONLINE.
But, to try to answer your question,if you are like 99% of young couples, you probably hold title to your home jointly with your wife, your mutual funds are also probably joint with rights of survivorship, and your life insurance is payable to your wife. Upon your death, everything probably passes to her by survivorship. A will wouldn’t have any affect and there would be no probate. Don’t worry about small stuff like cars and household furnishings. Those are probably transferable by affidavit.
The real quesion is whether or not your wife will need profssional help managing all of the assets that she’ll have upon your death. This is where the question of setting up a trust comes in. You also have to consider what will happen as far as the children are concerned if you and your wife die together in an accident. You have to consider naming guardians for them, and provide for asset management for them. This is done by will, so trusts (living and testamentary) and wills interplay with one another. I hope I’ve confused you sufficiently so that you’ll seek competent legal advice and not try a do-it-yourself plan. Although, at your current asset level, I see nothing wrong with joint ownership coupled with a simple will naming guardians for the kids in case of a common disaster.

I would also suggest… - Posted by David Alexander

Posted by David Alexander on March 08, 1999 at 20:57:10:

Reading the book Rich Dad/Poor Dad and Cash Flow Quadrant, so that you can get an idea of what assets really are, this is not a slam just an observation.
The books are written by Robert Kiyosaki and will change the way you think.

David Alexander

Re: Living trust over will? - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on March 08, 1999 at 18:41:14:

A living trust is a wise idea. I hold almost everything in my living trust. You do need a will though. Even though a will automatically goes to probate. If there is something you have forgotten, you want a will to take care of it. Don’t listen to FJW. You don’t want the courts and intestacy laws determining who gets what. You want to decide yourself in advance. I use a pour-over will which would dump all of my assets into the living trust if I died.

Try library first. I don’t know all the… - Posted by FJW

Posted by FJW on March 08, 1999 at 17:23:18:

particulars to your query, but I’m pretty sure if something were to happen to you, through the rules of succession, your immediate family automatically inherits your stuff and can usually just have titles transferred by providing death certificates to whoever requests them. A will actually initiates probate and comes into play when division of the estate is necessary. I have heard living trusts can avoid probate because the trust can’t die. Check out the library and find a good estate planning attorney. Many of them have free seminars or luncheons. Check you local paper.


Re: Living trust over will? - Posted by Jaydee

Posted by Jaydee on March 08, 1999 at 16:55:08:

James ,
There is a work book you can go through which will answer all your questions on the subject and the investment is well worth it ( $ 20 ) Call 1-800 728-2665

Ignore the Above Answer - Posted by J.P. Vaughan

Posted by J.P. Vaughan on March 08, 1999 at 19:48:41:

People who do not KNOW the answers to questions should
not guess. The above answer is wrong and irresponsible.