I recently read about a national radio host make the statement “this is absolutely stupid. It’s tremendous overkill. With an estate that size, all they need is a basic will and that’s it. This workshop they took is just one of those weekend gimmick deals to get them to spend money. They are being ripped off. All it does is help you with probate, that’s it.”
Is He Right?
The caller who called into the radio show disclosed that their parent’s estate was worth approximately $500,000. This radio host focused on the size of the estate being $500,000 and that a living trust is simply not appropriate.
Whether to establish a living trust-based estate plan or establish a last will and testament-based estate plan will depend entirely upon the needs, concerns, and wishes of the family. To make a blanket statement upon why a family only needs a will based on the size of their estate is wrong and is just bad advice.
When I sit down with a client to discuss estate planning and legacy planning, we will always spend a good amount of our conversation covering their concerns, needs, and goals for their family. A will might be appropriate for the family, on the other hand, a living trust might also be appropriate based upon the needs, concerns, and goals of the family.
A living trust estate and legacy plan can be utilized to benefit a family in a number of ways in addition to avoiding probate including:
- Nursing Home Costs: A Living Trust Can Be an Important Tool to Protect Your Home and Assets from $6,000 or More per Month in Nursing Home Bills and Long-Term Care Costs
- Blended Families: A Living Trust Can Be an Important Tool to Avoid Disinheriting Each Other or Your Separate Children.
- Money Worries: A Living Trust Can Be an Important Tool to Prevent Your Children From Spending Through Their Inheritance Too Quickly … Most Inheritances Are Spent In 17 Months.
- Kids Spouses: A Living Trust Can Be an Important Tool to Protect Your Kids Against a Bad Spouse (Current or Future), and Family Money Going Out of Your Blood Line.
- IRA Planning: A Certain Type of Living Trust Can Be an Important Tool that Can Prevent Irresponsible Spending From an IRA By Your Children and Result in Potentially Millions of Dollars in Distributions To Your Children and Grandchildren.
- Joint Accounts: A Living Trust Can Be an Important Tool to Avoid the Inherent Problems That Can Arise From Titling Accounts Jointly.
As you can see, a living trust is an important tool when it comes to estate planning. However, probate avoidance and privacy of financial affairs is simply just one of the concerns that families may have when engaging in estate and legacy planning.
There are countless uses and benefits from using a living trust as part of your overall estate planning and legacy planning strategy. However, only a knowledgeable, experienced, and licensed estate planning attorney will be able to determine what might be the best option for you and your family after listening to your goals, wishes, needs, and concerns.
If you feel it is time to sit down and schedule a time to speak with a Tennessee Estate Planning Attorney to create the perfect estate planning strategy for your family, please CLICK HERE to schedule your Estate and Legacy Planning Strategy Session!