In past blogs we have discussed the need to have an experienced estate planning lawyer draft your trust. In California, a case has recently been filed against Legal Zoom, an online site that markets wills and trusts without the need to meet with an attorney. The case involves a man with a terminal condition who used Legal Zoom to draft a trust and pour over will. The documents were signed but the trust was never funded because financial institutions that held the man’s money refused to recognize the validity of the documents. The man died without getting the trust funded.
It remains to be seen what the outcome of the case will be but it does highlight the importance of getting a lawyer to draft your revocable trust and companion documents. In most cases, a face to face meeting will elicit important facts so that your trust and other documents accurately reflect what you want to happen after your death.
Some circumstances that dictate hiring an attorney to create an estate plan are the following:
1. You are in a second marriage with children of other relationships 2. You own real estate in more than one state.
3. You want to benefit a charity in some way 4. You own a business and want to provide for someone to take over the business after your death 5. You have a taxable estate.
6. You have substantial assets in 401(k)s or IRAs 7. You have a beneficiary who is disabled 8. You have minor children and want to provide for distributions to them at intervals or for specific purposes.
9. Your children have drug or alcohol problems and need a trust that will take that into consideration 10. You want to have someone you can call when you have questions or want to make changes in your documents.
The experienced estate planning lawyers at Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation can assist you with your estate plan and will be around when you need to call with a questions or want to amend your documents. Our initial consultation is always complimentary.