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PostLiving Trusts and Probate (Laarni von Ruden, USA, 11/09/21 7:22 am)
Francisco Ramírez (November 3rd) asked about living trusts as a way to bypass probate on your estate.
Every state has different statutes on this. You need an attorney by the jurisdiction for estate matters. Probate is an expensive court process that delays access to assets, which means cash accounts are tied up for six months or more while your survivors are still responsible for paying bills each month.
My husband retired in January 2021, and I am not ever really retiring as a self-employed CPA. We did our living trust in California on 8-5-1997. Once we had purchased a house in Palo Alto in 1993, our minimal assets were subject to probate. So being in the finance industry and knowing many estate planning attorneys, I took care of it, sort of...
There are always administrative details that are missed. It is really burdensome to change all your financial accounts to the name of the trust and so on.
My suggestion to you is to find excellent Nolo Press books on legal matters, so that when you hire an attorney, you can ask intelligent questions. I also love the Nolo Press book Get It Together So Your Family Won't Have To. Our lives are full and that book is a way to organize records and communicate to our family what we want done with all our stuff and money.
Do not retire too quickly. My husband is already a little bored!
JE comments: I have the perfect antidote to retirement ennui: WAIS!
Laarni von Ruden sent the above as a personal message. She has granted permission to post, but with the caveat that she is a CPA, not an attorney. My beloved aunt, Ann E Fullerton, passed away this summer and left a Living Trust. I can confirm that she protected her survivors from a lot of work (and taxes), but there are still complications and delays.
Here's the best "gift" you can give your heirs: radically reduce your clutter while you are still able to do so.