Should you have one? Can you afford one? Yes and Yes. Trusts are not just for the wealthy. They are the best way to pass your assets to others. Utilizing a revocable trust eliminates the probate process and related costs. Revocable trusts also make the transfer of assets seamless for those that benefit.
The cost to setting up a trust is inexpensive when considering the long-term benefits. Hire a qualified attorney to aid you in this process. This assures peace of mind that your affairs will be taken care of correctly and in the manner intended. Cost can range anywhere from $800-$2000. Complex details require more attention and time by the attorney, which result in higher fees. Having a relationship with a qualified attorney affords you the flexibility to make changes to the trust, if necessary.
You may say “I have a will”. That is important and determines who gets what, but having a will does not ensure avoidance of the costly probate process. Why risk additional costs (and delays) for your heirs and have a portion of your estate taken by the probate process?
After setting it up, the next step is funding the trust. This means to title your assets (home, stock accounts, land, bank accounts) pertaining to the trust. Also, have a pour over will set up which will take care of anything else (jewelry, guns, cars) you may have left out and place it in the trust. No need to place your retirement account, annuities, or life insurance into the trust because they have designated beneficiaries.
The benefits of setting up a revocable trust and funding your assets into it far outweigh the flip side of the estate going through probate. A trust provides peace of mind that your financial affairs are in order and that those you most care about will be taken care of properly. You (and your spouse) will be the trustees but you will need to name a person as successor trustee that you have confidence will carry forward your desires.
You have worked hard for what you have! Go this extra step to make certain it benefits your family.