Free Ebook.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« How to Go from a Two-Person to One-Person Income | Main | 10 Ways to Get Kids to Save Money »

July 06, 2010


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

What's the point of having a will then? Has the meaning and usage of wills changed so drastically over the last century?

Before thinking about any of this too hard, look up the rules in your state first. In Texas for instance, probate is simple and relatively cheap. I think better advice would be to ask these questions of a lawyer in your state, and in relation to your own personal situation.

Great article. As a paralegal working for an attorney who handles probate matters, I do a lot of the forms for the estates. Pretty much everything from the pleadings, inventory, inheritance tax return (state), taxes, real estate deeds, vehicle transfers...etc. But you know who still bills at $250 an hour, right?

The author left out a lot of important details about trusts.

For one thing, most living trusts are setup as irrevocable. Once an asset is put into the trust it's out of the control of the giver (the grantor) and can have major legal ramifications if you need to take the asset back. Not a lot of people like the idea of giving up such ownership control.

(You can have a revocable trust that will (usually) avoid probate but doesn't protect against Medicare issues.)

Another thing is the grantor and the trustee may not always be allowed to be the same person (depends on the laws of your local). So not only are you giving up an asset but now you have to trust someone else to manage it for you.

And a very important thing: Trusts get taxed at the corporate tax rate!! Which for most people is a LOT *HIGHER* than their own personal rates.

And there is a very confusing tax form to be filed each year for a trust.

All that said, a trust From personal experience MasterPo can tell you it is very nice to be able to assign assets from a trust without having to deal with the courts.

But well worth the cost to see a qualified lawyer.

Fascinating post - especially about fees. It is exactly the same in investment mangement. It doesn't take any more work to manage $1.0 million than it does to manage $0.5 million but the investment manager gets 2x as much for the $1.0 million account. Talk about economies of scale!

Very interesting article. We do not yet have a will set up; no kids so we are not really worried about it. The only assets we have of great value are our retirement and investment accounts and those are set to transfer directly to a beneficiary, either my spouse or if we both die at the same time, my father. According to this article, it sounds like we shouldn't bother! Once we have kids we will certainly be having a will made but now I might lean towards a trust.

@MasterPro - I don't think the author purposely left anything out. He is doing another post tomorrow that will go into more detail about trusts.

This article insinuates the legal cost of going through probate are very high. Mostly because you must hire a lawyer. It is my understanding that although you can hire a lawyer for this, it is not required. You can go through probate without a lawyer. My will is very simple and I would think that it could be done without a lawyer.

Nice article, I look forward to part 2.
I think that 400 page book would be an exciting read. Did you have a particular title in mind?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Start a Blog


  • Any information shared on Free Money Finance does not constitute financial advice. The Website is intended to provide general information only and does not attempt to give you advice that relates to your specific circumstances. You are advised to discuss your specific requirements with an independent financial adviser. Per FTC guidelines, this website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. All posts are © 2005-2012, Free Money Finance.