Avoiding Estate Probate With A Living Trust by toriola1


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                                             What’s New With Your Living Trust?
                                                          By Jeffrey Broobin

    What’s New With Your Living Trust? by Jeffrey Broobin

 Some time ago, Congress made certain changes to the estate taxes. As a result of the changes,
effective January, 2004, the tax free amount increased to $1,500,000. (Back in 1997 it was $600,000.)
This allows a married couple to leave a minimum of $3,000,000 tax free.

Your Living Trust does not need to be changed to incorporate these changes.

However, there are other developments which might be appropriate to consider.

1) You might want to consider a Dynasty Living Trust. The advantage of using the generation skipping
tax exemption is greater during the grantor’s lifetime. Once property is transferred to a dynasty Living
Trust, all appreciation and accumulated income generated by the property until the grantor’s death will
be exempt from estate tax as long as it remains in the Living Trust. Basically, this is a grown-up Minor's
Living Trust.

2) Another more recent development is worth considering. Since after one spouse dies, the Survivor
has full control of the Surviving Spouse's Living Trust, including the right to change the beneficiary
(through the General Power of Appointment), it is important to insure that the children from the first
marriage inherit their deserved portion.

This is what could happen. You die. Your Living Trust divides into two or three shares. Your wife, who
has control of the Living Trust, spends your half of the estate, remarries, and leaves her half to the new
spouse (not your intention). You may discuss this now with your spouse and decide that the assets you
have acquired during your lifetime together belong to both of you. While you still want your spouse to
be happy and maybe even remarry, you want your joint assets to be inherited by your children, not the
new spouse.

It is possible with the standard A - B - C Living Trust held by most married couples, which allows the
Survivor's half (the A Living Trust) to be changed, to incorporate an instruction that the A Living Trust
(the Survivor’s half) will be locked. With this feature, the surviving spouse may spend everything, but

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whatever is not spent must be left to your family rather than the new spouse.

3) Because time has passed since your Living Trust was first written, formerly young children are not
so young anymore, and the successors you selected to make your decisions may no longer be
appropriate because they are too old. Please review these designations listed in your Living Trust and
Powers of Attorney (financial and Health Care).
Furthermore, the inheritance age threshold designated for minor children at the time you made your
Living Trust may no longer be appropriate. At the time, you were guessing about what these minors
would be like, say, when they became 25 years old. Maybe you now think it is necessary to adjust that
age restriction.

4) Be certain that the people you appointed still have their copies of your Health Care Power of
Attorney. They should have a copy handy because in an emergency they may need to make medical
decisions quickly.

5) Make it easy for the people you Living Trusted to deal with your financial matters.

1.Make sure they know where to find your advisors.
2.If you have your own business, make a plan to deal with your death, beginning with the first day after
your death.
3.Make a list of investments (name of institution, account numbers) so your assets can be found. (Bank
/ stock accounts, retirement plans, life insurance, safe deposit box, etc.)
4.If all the information is in your computer, make sure that an appropriate Living Trustworthy person
has access to the password.

6) Make sure that your assets which have any form of registration are properly titled in your Living
Trust. These assets include bank accounts, stock, and real estate. Now is a good time to verify that all
such assets are held properly.
You also will receive Forms 1099 showing interest or dividends received during the past year, and K-1s
for Partnerships. Check each real property tax bill, Form 1099, and K-1 to ensure that it reads
something along the lines of:
John and Mary Doe, Trustees of the Living Trust of John and Mary Doe, dated January 1, 2004.

There may be other property which should also be in the Living Trust but may not provide annual
reporting, such as stock which does not pay dividends and, therefore, no 1099 is provided. You should
also verify that Pension Plans, IRAs, and Life Insurance beneficiaries are properly designated.

Creditors (such as your mortgage holder and credit cards) do not need to know about the Living Trust.
Only those holding your property should have notice.

If you inherited any property or received a substantial gift since formation of the Living Trust, you
should consider its status and your plans for it. Likewise, the ramifications of a change in your marital
status since formation of the Living Trust should be considered.

If you refinanced your property since doing the Living Trust, bought new property, or opened new
investment accounts, you should verify that the property is back in the Living Trust. As a good idea to
remove all uncertainty with regard to the current and up-to-date nature of the information in your Living
Trust, you might want to sign a statement each year informing that all personal property is listed in the
Living Trust.

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Also, review your estate plan yearly to make sure that you still trust the people you have chosen to act
on your behalf after your death.

Note that Legal Helper Corp. provides an easy-to-use, quick, and economical online method for
creating completed revocable living trust. - http://www.legalhelpmate.com/living-trust-online.aspx

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                                         Avoiding Estate Probate With a Living Trust
                                                           By Frank Rodriguez

We have all heard the horror stories of probate. In fact, most infamously, the estate of the late Elvis
Presley was significantly reduced in value to probate taxation. Just because the King himself didn't
follow the proper estate planning procedures doesn't mean you should too. For good reason, it's a
good idea to avoid estate probate whenever possible. The good news is that it's not a difficult or
complicated thing to avoid probate.

 When it comes to clearing out your estate, the probate process can be both time-consuming and
costly. Even if you have a will set up, your estate must still go through the probate process. There are a
few ways to avoid this, most commonly setting up a living trust. A living trust can be a great way to
pass along assets without the long delays that are so commonly associated with the probate process.
There are a few more ways to avoid probate like life insurance, for example, but establishing a living
trust covers your entire estate.

 Establishing a living trust used to be a big ordeal. You have to find an attorney well versed in estate
planning issues that could draft you up a suitable living trust based on your situation. For obvious
reasons, things could get pretty expensive, pretty quickly. In the past, it was just easier to draw up a
simple will. But, it no longer has to be that way. He advances of the Internet have had a rather large
impact on our lives. These advances have made it much easier to research living trust issues. In fact,
you can do everything online now, from the research to setting up your custom living trust. And the
beauty of all this is that you don't have to pay an expensive attorney to just fill out forms on your behalf.
If you're like most of us that like to do things themselves, filling out simple forms is a great way to
reduce the costs associated with setting up a living trust. Taking this approach has the potential to
save you thousands of dollars, in fact. It's not at all unusual to see online services offering living trust
set-up for small fractions of what it used to cost.

 Setting up a living trust is one of the best ways to transfer your estate to another entity, but how do
they work? The individual that puts their property into the living trust is named the trustor. He trustee is
the individual that manages the assets and property. And of course, the individual or entity that
receives the benefits from a living trust is called the beneficiary. Most of the time, the trustor plays the
role of both trustee and trustor.

 A living trust has several advantages when compared to a will. A living trust allows anyone to be
chosen as the trustee. Also, when it comes to a will, a will is a matter of public record, where is a living
trust is not. The costs associated with going through probate, with a will, are considerably more
expensive when compared to setting up a simple living trust. This is important for a number of reasons;
it avoids the headaches that are often associated with estate probate, saving your beneficiaries the
trouble. Also, for the sake of your beneficiaries, avoiding the costs of probate will leave them with more
of your estate, much like you intended. It is always recommended that you seek a qualified estate
planning attorney, well versed in estate probate and living trusts, if you have complications or
questions that may not be the norm.

Setting up a living trust, http://www.themoneyalert.com/HavingFaithinYourLegacy.html, is one of the
most critical estate planning steps to avoiding probate,
http://www.themoneyalert.com/AvoidingProbateArticle.html, for your family. However, probate is just

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one of the several benefits you can get from a living trust. Don't delay, set one up today.

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Related eBooks:

Avoiding Estate Probate With a Living Trust
Trust-based Estates: The Revocable Living Trust
3 Common Estate Planning Issues
Last Will and Testament: Will-based Vs. Trust-based Estates
Four Reasons For Creating a Trust

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