Right Estate Plan Will Save You Money
Categories: Estate Planning, Living Trusts
That’s right! A good attorney can save you and your estate money. When my friend’s Aunt Bertha died she had a modest house (worth $550,000) and a surprising amount of cash in certificates of deposit and a checking account ($150,000 to be exact). She had always been a private person and never sought advice from an attorney. Her simple will left all of her estate to her nieces and nephews in equal shares and named Bertha’s sister as Executor.
Financial Consequences of Not Having a Trust
Because she did not have a trust they had to present the will for Probate through the Santa Clara County Superior Court. It took two months just to get a hearing to have Bertha’s sister appointed as Executor. Then they had to wait an additional four months for any creditor’s to file claims. Then we had to get court approval for the sale of the house. Finally, there was the Petition for Final Distribution. It took nearly SIXTEEN MONTHS to wrap up the estate!
More bad news! The entire time the Executor could not make any distributions to the beneficiaries. When things are court supervised like this, you need permission for almost everything. To my friend’s mind the worst of it was the cost: $36,000 (the attorney and the Executor each received $17,000 plus there were court costs every time papers are filed).
Save Money with a Trust, Lift Your Head & Smile
There is hope for you! You see, if Bertha had had a trust everything would have been smoother. First, there would be no need for a court involvement in the administration of a trust. Second, the Trustee could have sold the property and distributed the proceeds on a schedule that made sense, instead of waiting for the court. Finally, I estimated that the attorney’s fees and court costs would have been between $4,000 and $5,000 instead of the $36,000. Take this example to heart and consider your situation.
Free Legal Consultation See if a Trust is for You
You may be thinking… “What about the upfront cost of setting up a trust; when all is said and done, is money really saved?”
I get this question quite a bit and know people who are certain that once they walk in the door the clock will start ticking and they will only escape after thousands of dollars! That is why I offer a free consultation… to eliminate any concerns someone may have. Come and see me. Ask your questions and hear about the options best suited to your specific circumstances. Only YOU can determine if a trust is right for you. I’m here to help.
Diane M. Brown, Esq.
Working every day to keep my clients out of court!
It’s your money… Let’s keep it that way!
This blog contains general information and is not meant to apply to a specific situation. Please seek advice of counsel before proceeding as each case is unique.
Photo Credit: Diane Brown’s photo by Lisa Whalen and a special thank you to Corbis via the Microsoft Image Library for the use of additional images found in this blog post.
No comments yet.