To trust, or not to trust?

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  #16  
Old 02-22-2015, 11:45 PM
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billethkid billethkid is offline
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Yes do a revocable living trust. Don't forget to be sure and update wills and powers of attorney and intents for hospital events.
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  #17  
Old 02-23-2015, 12:04 AM
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Barefoot Barefoot is offline
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Originally Posted by Wandatime View Post
I did hear that probate in Florida is a pain and takes at least six months. Here is why Suze thinks it is vitally important:
Why everyone needs a living revocable trust
I'm wondering if anyone can suggest a knowledgable lawyer.
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  #18  
Old 02-23-2015, 06:58 AM
Villageswimmer Villageswimmer is offline
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Originally Posted by shcisamax View Post
If both husband and wife's names are on all accounts and real estate, is there any reason for a revocable trust to be set up? Of course, that would assume both would not pass at the same time.

Yes. The trust can (and should) contain language should the surviving spouse become incapacitated.
  #19  
Old 02-23-2015, 07:09 AM
Villageswimmer Villageswimmer is offline
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Originally Posted by Bizdoc View Post
I have been going thru the problem of "odds and ends" outside of joint ownership/beneficiaries with my mom following the death of my father. The biggest problem is dealing with Treasury Direct to get the securities into her name (she's the joint owner but did not have her own separate TD account). She's now demented and cannot legally sign anything. TD's original suggestion was to become her guardian - when I talked with a guardianship attorney, I discovered the process in FL would probably take longer than she has to live. Probate would have been expensive and could drag on longer than lives, thus throwing things into probating stuff twice.

However, she provided in her durable POA that I could establish a revocable trust. Now, it has to conform to the beneficiaries in her will, but it is doable. Since the trust "outlives" her, it can still accept checks, etc made out to her (not to her estate). Have now done so and it solves some of the issues of transferring assets.

At the same time, I had a rev trust set up for me. Why? I can foresee the same potential problem of not being able to handle my affairs and having some assets not be accessible by a POA (and yes, I've had banks try to tell me that her POA was not valid!) And be sure that you understand the potential problems of not including the ability to change beneficiaries if you don't grant that power to your POA. I funded the trust with a nominal amount to make it legal.

The points above about spendthrift, etc are all good ones. I also like the fact that the trust is nice and opaque - you don't have to tell anyone outside of the trust what is going on (so long as you comply with things like tax law). The trust outlives you. You can instruct your successor trustee(s) as to what you want to happen with your assets without having to amend your will or your trust.

As a side note, check *all* of your accounts and insurance policies annually to make sure that you have valid beneficiaries and contingent beneficiaries/PODs.

You may know that now Treasury Direct permits "entity (I.e., trust) ownership." We retitled our holdings to be held under the trust. Took a bit of paperwork but worth it in the long run. btw this was not a taxable event.

Anyone still holding paper bonds, etc. may want to investigate this.

I would also add that I've never worked with a federal government agency as helpful as TD. You talk to real people and they actually answer emails.
  #20  
Old 02-23-2015, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Barefoot View Post
I'm wondering if anyone can suggest a knowledgable lawyer.
Millhorn has handled mine since I came to FL. Mine is a "special needs" trust which simply means that if I die first, it specifies how the trust is to be used for my husband who is disabled and not able to conduct business. It ensures that he is to be taken care of and how. It also means that if he qualifies for any government help (VA home, for instance) the trust will not have to be liquidated. We also have a blended family and one child from each are to be joint successor-trustees. When you die, then the trust becomes irrevocable meaning that no changes can be made.

One of the greatest things about having the revocable trust is that you control it. Although our bank accounts, etc. are owned by the trust, you carry on business-as-usual. Even though your bank account is owned by the trust, you don't have to specify that on your checks, etc.

Successor trustees MUST carry out your trust wishes to the letter. There is a form that comes with your trust that gives them the guidelines on what to do. That is also what you pay your attorney for, as well. The first thing they need to do is to contact him/her for guidance.
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  #21  
Old 02-23-2015, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Barefoot View Post
I'm wondering if anyone can suggest a knowledgable lawyer.
We're using Susan Sullivan. She's located in Oxford, right beside Bargains and Treasures on CR 106. She is doing a complete package of documents for us (Living Wills, POAs, trust, etc.).
  #22  
Old 02-23-2015, 04:00 PM
Bizdoc Bizdoc is offline
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We used Amy Pittman for ours. I used Samantha Shealy Rauba in Ocala for mom's as we originally thought we would have to do guardianship and mom is in a nursing home in Ocala. Both very good. Unless you have Marion Co issues (like a demented mother in a nursing home in Ocala), Amy is located here and Samantha 30 minutes away.
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