Practically every day, I discuss with clients the pros and cons of revocable living trusts. In my opinion, the positives generally far outweigh the negatives, but living trusts don't make sense for everyone. There have been innumerable articles and blog postings about the advantages of using a living trust for estate planning, but I thought I'd approach the topic from a different angle - why might you not want to use a living trust:
- You want the court to dictate how your estate is handled - all those rules have to be there for a good reason, right?
- You favor supporting the government, so you like the idea of your estate paying thousands of dollars in court fees.
- You believe everyone's testamentary dispositions and assets should be public record, including your own.
- You want your executor to experience the joy to traveling to another state to handle probate in the location in which you own your timeshare, land, vacation place, etc.
- You know your executor will enjoy filling out and signing lots of forms; after all he or she has nothing better to do.
- You know your family will not mind waiting for all the minute details of probate to be completed before the estate is closed and the assets distributed.
- You are glad that the court clerks are kept busy, so a several month delay in approving a final account is no big deal.
- And finally, you favor supporting lawyers, so you don't mind your estate paying thousands of dollars in attorneys fees for ensuring that the court requirements of probate are met.
If even one of these statements describes you, then maybe you aren't the right candidate for a living trust. ;-)