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The two individuals who have previously reviewed this book just happen to be Probate/Estate Planning attorneys. Heads up here folks…if you have half of a brain you will realize WHO exactly would be losing on Living Trust. This one isn’t a stretch…THE ATTORNEYS. In case you have never been through probate, which I did with my last grandmother’s estate which was of a considerable value. Her attorney prior to her passing instructed her that a will would be sufficient. Of course it would…to line his pockets. Figure it up folks in the State of Ohio a Probate attorney will receive on average 3% of your estate. My grandmother’s estate was valued in the millions of dollars. I cried (literally) as I wrote the check to that “very kind and oh so helpful” attorney.
Read Suze Ormand’s book 9 Steps to Financial Freedom. Right there in black in white “Attorneys do not like Living Trusts. They lose money.” When someone tells you it is “not about the money,” you had better believe it is to the attorney and of course to your checking account when you write them the check.
Avoid Probate, relatives you never knew you had (believe me they appear like sharks in blood-infested waters) have the legal right through probate to contest the will and its heirs. Why do attorney’s care? They have a set-fee based upon the value of the estate. IE: they get their money first.
If you are not comfortable writing you own Living Trust DO go to an attorney. He/she will attempt to talk to out of it. DO NOT LET THEM.
Today I came across that check I wrote some many years ago. $306,000. I would have rather kepy the money, invested, sent my kids to college. Instead I sent my attorney’s kids to Harvard and Yale respectfully.
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This is a must for all lawyers and those who have been seduced into buying a LIVING trust at the cost of $1,000 to $2000.00 the seller cannot answer all questions, cannot tailor the trust to fit the individual and does not want to. Most lay people do not know how to take care of a trust that needs constant attention (remember it is living) and usually wind up in probate court anyway. but the worst part is that a trust can be attacked for the next several years. probate closes after a reasonable time, and cuts off all claims. the author writes in easy to understand language and at least gives the layman pause for thought regarding a living trust. The buyer or trustee usually winds up spending more money than he would for the probate action after death.
Living Trust Living Hell by Raleigh, North Carolina attorney John Huggard should be on your reading list (and your lending and giving list – my law firm has lent or given away several copies). If you are as irritated by living trust hucksters as I am or if you find yourself actually wanting to believe some of the over-hyped claims of living trust salespeople, you’ll find the book a great resource.
The book’s style (right down to the cheesy flaming cover) is a little over-the-top, but my guess is that’s by design. Fight fire with fire, fight cheese with better cheese. Compared to the Cheez Whiz squirted at the public by many living trust hucksters, Huggard is serving up Camembert.
The book debunks numerous myths and exposes traps related to poor or ignorant planning with living trusts. The short, easy- to-read chapters contain plenty of examples showing how living trusts can actually increase rather than decrease taxes, expenses and administration time, as well as unnecessarily expose assets to claims of creditors.
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