Living Trusts: 10 reasons not to have one.

Written by Adam Breeding of Lake Norman Law Firm

Living trusts are my favorite estate planning tool. A trust may not be for every person, but for most clients the living trust is a better option than a simple will. Usually, when clients talk with me about an estate plan, I have little trouble persuading them to choose a trust. I bring my “reasons not to have a living trust” with me to the client conference, and a few weeks later – Lake Norman Law Firm has a happy estate planning client:

1. You are going to live forever (if you believe this you can disregard 2 -10).

2. You want your heirs to sort through the probate process and hang around the clerk’s office regularly paying filing fees and trying to figure out what forms to file, what creditors to notice, and how to distribute your estate. You might especially enjoy this if you have out-of-state heirs.

3. You believe your heirs should have to wait several months or longer after your passing to get their inheritance.

4. You would rather the State, instead of you, distribute your estate and decide what happens to your things.

5. You believe lawyers are underpaid and need your money. This happens after your heirs return from the clerk’s office frustrated, confused, and unwilling to administer the estate.

6. You believe that the government is such a great steward of taxpayer money that they should continue to look over your things after you pass and “invest” your cash.

7. You enjoy the idea of your heirs fighting over your stuff.

8. You want to ensure that your money goes to pay off your heirs’ creditors.

9. You relish the idea of your heirs traveling to other states where you have real estate or timeshares.

10. You prefer that your heirs spend a bunch of time digging through your papers and affairs in order to figure out what stuff you have.

Again, a trust may not be right for every client, but I’m willing to bet that for most – it is. I think the most common reason folks opt for a simple will is the initial cost, but after spending some time with me, informed clients learn that a trust is a better value – and they still get all of the other important estate planning documents: power of attorney, living will, and health care proxy. The extra money spent setting up a trust is well spent since your heirs will most likely endure filing fees, attorneys’ fees, travel costs, etc. when administering an estate through the probate process. Of course, there are plenty more benefits to a living trust. At Lake Norman Law Firm, we’re happy to set up a free consult to see if a trust is right for you. Contact us