For too long, Americans have been taught to rely on the government for their needs: Social security will pay your retirement. The Affordable Care Act will take care of your medical expenses. Medicaid will pay for your nursing home. The court will handle your affairs if you are incapacitated or when you die.
Astute estate planning attorneys know that the government-controlled court system is not the answer to their client’s legal problems any more than social security is the answer for living expenses during retirement. When we explain the difference between planning with a will and the planning and protection that can be done with a living trust, clients almost always choose to prepare a trust, because the benefits by far outweigh the costs. Trusts are excellent investments for you and your family.
We know that there is much misinformation on the internet about living trusts, even from sources you might expect to be neutral. Having an estate with a certain dollar value is not the marker on whether or not a client should consider a living trust. There is no dollar value that needs to be achieved to want to avoid a public, complicated, inefficient process during your or your family’s most difficult times. Too many Americans are using the court system as their estate plan simply because they don’t know that they have an option. The option is to take control of your own affairs and plan to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your legacy with a legal document called a living trust.
Think of a living trust as writing your own, personal “rulebook.” When you create a living trust, you are completely replacing the government-controlled court system, where a judge will oversee your affairs if you are incapacitated and oversee the court process that will take place when you die. Both of these proceedings take place in a court known as the “probate” court. The probate courts are clogged, inefficient, public, and expensive. When clients understand that they can completely avoid both of these ordeals AND choose the people they would like to be in charge of their affairs, AND save money in the process, they always choose the living trust. Knowledge is, after all, power.
We recommend living trusts for our clients who have any one of the following situations:
1. Want control of the process that will take place if they become incapacitated (disabled) or die;
2. Do not want to lose their gun rights simply because they cannot balance their checkbook (click here to watch a video on estate planning for gun owners);
3. Prefer a private, simple process rather than a complicated, public, court process;
4. Prefer to save their loved ones time, expense, and stress should anything happen to them;
5. Have trouble with one or more family members and wish to ensure the problem relative is not involved in their affairs;
6. Will be disinheriting a child;
7. Would prefer to protect a child’s inheritance from creditors and predators, including divorce;
8. Wish to motivate a child to attend college or otherwise become a productive member of society;
9. Have real property in more than one state; or
10. Have a child with special needs.
Any one of the above reasons is reason enough to consider preparing a living trust.
If you would like to avoid the government’s plan for you and your family if you are disabled or pass away, and you would like a streamlined, efficient process where you are in control of what will happen and who is in charge of carrying out your wishes, then a living trust should be a part of your estate plan.
We would love to meet with you and answer your questions. Call us at 208-345-6308 to schedule your free estate planning consultation, where you can ask all your questions about living trusts and make an informed decision about the plan that will be best for you and your family. We serve clients in Boise, Eagle, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Star, Emmett, the Treasure Valley, the Magic Valley, Twin Falls, Mountain Home in Idaho, including Ada County, Canyon County, Gem County, Twin Falls County and elsewhere in Idaho. We also service client in Portland, Lake Oswego, Gold Beach, Brookings, Port Orford, Medford, Oregon, and all over the Pacific Northwest!