Your estate plan is like your fire escape plan: the more complex your estate is the more directions you’ll need. If you’re unmarried, with no children or real property you probably don’t even need a trust. We’ve explained how you can draft a simple Will for free on our blog (for more details, click here).
When Cheap Revocable Trusts Work
When you own real property, a trust is always recommended to avoid probate (probate is a long and expensive process to transfer property from the dead to the living). If you have one child and are single, you probably can get away with a basic revocable trust. Our basic packages include a trust and related documents, such as a will a trust transfer deed for real property.
But, once your needs are discussed with an attorney you may find that the cheap online revocable trust is more expensive than you thought. The reason is simple: everyone’s needs are different. The basic package may not provide your family with enough protection.
When Cheap Revocable Trusts Don’t Work
A basic question I ask my clients is, “Who will get your property?” You may be thinking, “I want it all to go to my kids.” But there’s always more to it than “all to my kids.”
Simple plans go out the window when you have children. Think of the fire escape plan: can the children walk on their own, do they know where to meet, to get out fast, and not to go back for anything? Parents have to guide children to avoid catastrophe. The same holds true for your estate plan.
When you have children, you have to plan based on their needs. Simplified “click the box” planning isn’t always the best thing for your children. You may have some children that are married and well off – does that child really need much from your estate? Maybe you have a child with special needs. If you don’t plan ahead that child may lose benefits.
A cheap online revocable trust doesn’t work for many young families for this reason: wisdom and intelligence are completely different. Your son might know multiplication tables by age 7, but how wise are they with money? For some 18 year-olds, getting $200,000 could be a death sentence. What if your 20 year-old straight-A student daughter causes a car accident and is sued for all of her inheritance?
When I consult with my clients we always talk about their children in greater detail. It takes a little time to get the details right and always starts with a free consultation. Call us or book online for free.