Last updated: 26 Nov 23 08:41:04 (UTC)

What Attorneys Don't Want You To Know

By Larry Baldwin, President of Heritage Living Trusts

Attorneys certainly are necessary in helping us through some of the difficulties of life but I don’t know a single soul who looks forward to going to an attorney or believes they always have our best interest at heart. I’m not an attorney basher…I just know a lot of attorneys and for 24 years have been correcting their estate planning mistakes. It takes an attorney who specializes in estate planning to do a proper job. Most attorneys don’t have this specialty.

No situation could be more true than the problem of Probate. Probate occurs at death when you die intestate (no will or trust in place) or with a Will. A Will is nothing more than instructions to the Probate Court and it guarantees that your estate will be Probated. You don’t want a Will. Chances are your attorney steered you into a Will instead of a Living Trust because that is what he learned in law school. But there is another reason…they make more money when you die if you have a Will. I have heard attorneys tell me that their filing cabinets full of Wills are their retirement fund.

Only an attorney can take you through the Probate process and they get paid handsomely for doing so. Most states allow from 8% to 10% of the GROSS value of the probated estate as attorneys fees. Debt is not considered…its based on GROSS value of all that you own. Consider this, if you have a half million dollar gross value estate, your attorney fees will be about $50,000! With a Living Trust all that money could go to your family instead of the attorney. Do you understand why attorneys like to do Wills?

A Living Trust completely eliminates Probate. You don’t need an attorney to settle a Living Trust at your death. All the money in your estate goes to your family and a Living Trust is settled in a matter of weeks instead of months and years as is the case with a Will and Probate. For this reason alone, it makes a lot of sense to seriously consider doing a Living Trust for your family.

Some will say that a Living Trust is too expensive. Consider this. At your death Probate will cost your family tens of thousands of dollars and it goes into the attorneys pocket. A Living Trust is less than $3,000 and it saves your family the legal tie-ups and huge costs. Putting it into perspective…a Living Trust is always a better idea and certainly the most loving thing you can do for your family.