Although revocable living trusts can be an effective estate planning tool, our Santa Fe revocable living trust lawyers recognize that some people are misled into spending money on a living trust when it might not be justified. In other situations, individuals might not receive the type of trust that is best suited to their needs, or the trust might not be properly implemented, so that the trustor is deprived of its benefits. Even AARP has used its magazine and website to warn seniors regarding a cottage industry of companies run and operated by those with no legal expertise or estate planning experience.
A revocable living trust is a written document that among other functions permits you to designate your intentions in terms of transferring your legacy to your family, charitable organizations and others. A living trust also permits you to exercise more control over the process to protect heirs who suffer from a disability or fiscal irresponsibility. This type of estate planning device can also specify the way you want your property managed if you suffer a period of physical or mental incapacity. Despite these benefits and others, we have outlined issues to be considered before electing to have a revocable living trust prepared.
Do I really need a living trust?
An AARP study found that the greatest growth among those who paid to have a living trust drafted involved those who were least likely to benefit from this estate planning tool. There are many services that have aggressive sales people contact people about purchasing a living trust. AARP recommends that you contact a qualified estate planning attorney if you are considering a living trust. Attorneys are subject to ethical standards and professional licensing, which prohibits them from cold call you to sell you a revocable living trust that is unnecessary. Further, an experienced New Mexico revocable living trust attorney can advise you in terms of selecting the appropriate type of living trust.
Will my living trust be prepared by a qualified estate planning attorney?
Many sales people working for “estate planning mills” might suggest that your documents are prepared especially for you by an attorney. If you do not use a law firm, you may end up with a generic pre-printed form that is not prepared or even reviewed by a lawyer. If you do not retain an estate planning attorney, there is a significant risk that your documents will not meet your objectives or even comply with state law.
What about my situation makes a living trust worth the investment?
Although a revocable living trust can be an effective estate planning device, it is not the optimal solution for everyone. While aggressive salespeople from business other than law firms might tell you that a revocable living trust will save you estate taxes and probate costs, there might be other solutions that make more sense. Further, you may not face any exposure to estate taxes anyway if the net value of your estate falls within the limits for exemption from estate tax liability. The key is to make sure you understand the cost-benefit analysis that makes a revocable living trust your best option.
If you have questions about revocable living trusts or other aspects of estate planning, our Santa Fe, NM Estate Planning Attorneys at Life Leaf Legal Group, PC offer a free consultation in our centrally located offices in Santa Fe and Albuquerque so that we can discuss your specific situation. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at 505.856.3591 to learn about your rights and options.
The above information is designed solely to illustrate general principles of law, and does not constitute a specific legal opinion on individual cases. We suggest that you contact experienced legal counsel for a specific opinion tailored to your individual circumstances.