...The Failproof Way to Pass Along Your Estate to Your heirs Without A Lawyers, Courts, or the Probate System
APPROVED BY ESTATE PLANNERS AND LEGALLY VALID IN ALL 50 STATES
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Note: This is a used book, and it is marked up in pencil
Kingston – Books 13 – IMG_5341
Author: Henry W. Abts III
Block Diagrams, Charts, Worksheets, Sample Tax Forms
Publisher: Contemporary Books
Charts, Graphs, Worksheets
Many people ask, “Why should I have a Living Trust?” As you will see, there are several reasons why a Living Trust can be beneficial to your estate planning. A living Trust eliminates the need for your heirs or surviving spouse to be subjected to the agony and unnecessary cost of probate; a Living Trust provides the entity to ensure that you either pay no estate and inheritance taxes or at least minimize those onerous taxes…In addition, a Living Trust provides a means for your assets to receive full “stepped up valuation” – a most important tax benefit that provides the major means of avoiding unnecessary taxation of capital gains.
Many people, with honest sincerity, say, “I have a Will, and therefore my estate will not go through probate.” Unfortunately, that statement reflects one of the most common misconceptions of people in all walks of life. The words Will and probate are synonymous, and the cost of probate can be very expensive, even to the smallest estates.
Another common misconception heard all too frequently is that people will avoid probate by having their assets in joint tenancy. You will learn later in this book that having your assets in joint tenancy only postpones the agony of probate. Yes, probate is avoided when the first spouse dies, but probate is inevitable – and when the second spouse dies, the entire estate must then go through probate.
This book is the result of almost 20 years of experience with the Living Trust and 4 years of writing. Having met with thousands of clients and prospective clients, I have seen that once they have been introduced to the concept of the Living Trust, they want to learn more about it. My intent, throughout this book, is to communicate to you, in simple and easy to understand language. Three major topics related you a Living Trust:
• Who should have a Living Trust
• How a Living Trust works
• How you can distinguish a good Living Trust from a bad one
Understanding the advantages of having a Living Trust and deciding that you (or you and your spouse) desire to get your own Living Trust is not good enough. Unless you understand how a Living Trust works, along with the particular advantages it can bestow on your personal financial and estate planning goals, the trust cannot work for you to its best advantage.
Even more importantly, once you decide to get your own Living Trust, you must be able to distinguish a good Trust from a bad one. As the popularity of the Living Trust increases, more and more attorneys are offering to draw up Living Trust documents, but few of these attorneys are knowledgeable about Living Trusts. Without the proper knowledge on your part, it is just too easy for you to pay too much money for a poorly drawn up Trust – which can often be worse than having no Trust at all. When you finish reading this book, you will not be at the mercy of the legal fraternity; you will know what provisions you should have in your Living Trust, and why.
I am deeply concerned about the increasing proliferation of Living Trusts being thrust on the public today, with a resultant dramatic reduction in the quality of these documents. My intent is not to condemn the legal profession to raise its standard of in drawing quality documents tat contain the provisions most appropriate for each client’s individual circumstances. Although everyone should have a Living Trust today, I would like to think that because of this book a client can now be assured that his or her needs will be of the highest quality.
After years of assisting thousands of clients in creating Living Trusts and hundreds of clients in settling their estates upon the death of a spouse or a parent, I have yet to find a single disadvantage to a properly drawn and funded Living Trust. Furthermore, the advantages of having a Living Trust are limitless.
I also have yet to see a client, having once understood the Trust, complete his or her Trust and then walk away without a feeling of absolute relief – and peace. The Living Trust is the finest gift that one spouse can give the other, or that parents can give their children.
I have never worked with any other document that is as versatile and it allows you to do with your assets whatever your heart most desires. Whether married or single, young or old, every person has the same need for a Living Trust.
To acquaint people with the many advantages of a well-drawn Living Trust, I have presented hundreds of seminars on the Living Trust. The questions most commonly asked, at the seminars is, “Why doesn’t everyone have a Living Trust?” The reason is simple: people either have not heard of the Living trust or do not yet fully understand its benefits.
The questions most frequently asked are categorized and answered for you (along with the chapter reference to where the subject is covered in more detail) in Appendix G: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Living Trust – but Were Afraid to Ask.”
The intent of this book is to impart a clear understanding of the Living Trust, as well as to make you aware of the importance a Living Trust plays in sound estate planning.
Once you have been made aware of various consequences of not having a Living Trust, you will be introduced to what a Living trust is all about. A well-written Trust contains a wealth of provisions that provide you with a means to handle almost any contingency that may arise during you lifetime, as well to ensure your heirs receive the maximum amount of your estate.
Each Living Trust should be individually tailored to the needs and desires of the person or couple on whose behalf the Trust is created. You decide what is best for your particular situation, and you decide who is to get what and when. With a Living Trust, you are in full control of your assets.
Many examples are used throughout the book to illustrate various points in explaining how a Living Trust works for everyone – in all situations. All of the examples in the book encountered by my clients. However, even though real-life situations are used, the names in the examples are fictitious to preserve the privacy of the individuals involved.
After many years of estate planning, I believe that I have an important message to share with people everywhere:
Everyone needs a good Living Trust.
Having a Living Trust provides a host of benefits. Most notably, because the Living Trust universally eliminates the need for probate and unnecessary estate taxation, it provides peace of mind.
Thus, the answer to sound estate planning and peace of mind for you and you heirs is very simple: A Living Trust (instead of the typical Will) and an organized estate (instead of a guessing game). The Living trust becomes, in effect, your Will – and it specifically spells out to whom, and when your assets are to be distributed. Most individuals plan to fail; they just fail to plan. Why not start planning now? Establishment of a Living Trust is a key step in planning for the future.
You may think your heirs have been well provided for, but did you know that:
• Your loved ones may have to wait as long as two years or more before receiving a penny from your estate – even though you have left a legally valid will?
• Costs of probating your will may eat up 10 percent or more of your estate – money your heirs will never receive?
• The specific instructions of your bequest may be contested or changed – even though clearly spelled out in your will?
Contents by Chapter
1. The Agony of Probate
2. Joint Tenancy: A Poor Alternative
3. Estate and Inheritance Taxes
4. The Living trust vs. Other Forms of Wills
5. Understanding the Living Trust
6. Parties to the Trust
7. Allocation and Distribution of Assets
8. Separating the Good from the Bad
9. Desirable Provisions
10. Estate Tax-Saving Documents
11. Organizing Your Estate
12. Transferring Your Assets into Your Living Trust
13. Settling the Estate
14. Determining your net Worth
15. Creating Your Estate Plan
16. Appropriate Costs of the Living Trust and Accompanying Documents
Appendix A- Comparison of Death Costs: Loving Will vs Living Trust for Single Person with A Trust
Appendix B - Comparison of Death Costs: Loving Will vs Living Trust for Married Couple with A Trust
Appendix C - Comparison of Death Costs: Loving Will vs Living Trust for Married Couple with A-B Trust
Appendix D - Comparison of Death Costs: Loving Will vs Living Trust for Married Couple with A-B-C Trust
Appendix E – Comparison of Death Costs: Testamentary Trust vs. Living Trust for Married Couple with A-B Trust
Appendix F - Comparison of Death Costs: Testamentary Trust vs. Living Trust for Married Couple with A-B-C Trust
Appendix G – Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Living Trust – but Were Afraid to Ask
paperback 297 pages. ISBN: 0-8092 -4416-0