3/22/14

Living Trust

Everyone needs a LIVING REVOCABLE TRUST says Suze Orman on an episode of "The Suze Orman Show."
Orman spells it out. . "A living revocable trust serves as far more than just where assets are to go upon your death and it does that in an efficient way," she said. Unlike a will, a living trust also covers you while you are still alive, Orman noted.  You must think about what If something happens and you become ill and incapacitated. "Who is going to take care of you and pay your bills?" Orman asked. A key difference between a will and a living revocable trust is that the living trust has an incapacity clause that states who you want to sign for your affairs in the event you are unable to do so for yourself.  Be mindful of the key difference between a revocable trust and an irrevocable trust. An irrevocable trust cannot be modified or terminated without permission of the beneficiary. "Once the grantor transfers the assets into the irrevocable trust, he or she removes all rights of ownership to the trust and assets," Orman said.

Suze went on to explain that if your Mom leaves her house to you in a Will. You will have to go thru probate court to get the house into your name and this costs lots of money. Depending on which State the property is recorded, the fees/costs could wipe out your savings.  I know this to be True. My Aunt left her house to my Sister in a will & it took almost a year and several payments to an attorney, plus court costs to get it resolved. Thank God the house was in Florida where the court costs are not exorbitant, my Aunt's attorney was very reasonable and she could afford to pay the fees/costs. Not so easy if you live in a State, like California where court costs and attorney fees are thru the roof.  So, if your Mom did not give you the cash up front to pay for the Attorney & Court fees to make her will a reality, you will have to borrow some money and possibly have to sell the house to pay it back. This would be a Travesty!  Imagine a house that your parents paid for with their hard earned money, with no mortgage and you have to take out a loan to get it into your name. You cannot do this by yourself, you need a qualified Estate & Trusts Attorney. If you are going to be gifted by your parents, time to talk to them about the Gift. . .
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