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Old 12-10-2018, 03:15 PM
 
320 posts, read 242,489 times
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I'm supposed to be helping my mom create a living trust (to avoid probate), or meet with a lawyer to create one. She would like me to be the executor. I really have no idea what this entails for me other than what I have viewed online. I'm sure I will be paying for it all so any recommendations where I can save money would be nice as I know lawyers aren't cheap (lawyer vs. online site?).

She has a house that is completely paid off with no liens on it. Additionally, she notified me the other day that my younger sister (age 24) was listed on the deed of the house with her when she purchased it. I'm asking around for feedback as to what this may entail in the future when the time comes. I'm a little worried as I know my sister is controlling, manipulative at times, and will ignore ethics when presented with a conflict that gives her the potential to benefit greatly. Needless to say it really is astounding what I have witnessed in the past with her. If she is on the house deed and I am executor, where does that leave us as far as who makes what decisions? Don't ask me why my mom added her to the deed because I don't know, I was living out of state; I can only presume, knowing my sister's nature.

To give you an idea, they have both shared a credit card in the last few years, maxed it out, and now blame each other for it . Speaking of, I realize that all debts must be paid before any disbursements take place. What I am trying to avoid is anything illegally done and any clashing of heads if possible. I would like to protect my part of the inheritance as bad as that may sound, and reduce the potential for deviant action on her end. Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:03 PM
 
Location: on the wind
6,828 posts, read 2,787,388 times
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I'm supposed to be helping my mom create a living trust (to avoid probate), or meet with a lawyer to create one.

She would like me to be the executor.

If it is a trust you wouldn't be an executor. You all become trustees.

I'm sure I will be paying for it all so any recommendations where I can save money would be nice as I know lawyers aren't cheap (lawyer vs. online site?).

Trusts can get complicated. Don't try to cheap out by doing it yourself with an online form. Hire an attorney who specializes in living trusts.

She has a house that is completely paid off with no liens on it. Additionally, she notified me the other day that my younger sister (age 24) was listed on the deed of the house with her when she purchased it. I'm asking around for feedback as to what this may entail in the future when the time comes. If she is on the house deed and I am executor, where does that leave us as far as who makes what decisions?

This does sound messy. I think your mom has the option to list the house as a trust asset or leave it separate from the trust. If it becomes a trust asset that probably affects how much "say" the sister will have in selling it later. I haven't done this...don't know.
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:09 PM
 
320 posts, read 242,489 times
Reputation: 383
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parnassia View Post
I'm supposed to be helping my mom create a living trust (to avoid probate), or meet with a lawyer to create one.

She would like me to be the executor.

If it is a trust you wouldn't be an executor. You all become trustees.

I'm sure I will be paying for it all so any recommendations where I can save money would be nice as I know lawyers aren't cheap (lawyer vs. online site?).

Trusts can get complicated. Don't try to cheap out by doing it yourself with an online form. Hire an attorney who specializes in living trusts.

She has a house that is completely paid off with no liens on it. Additionally, she notified me the other day that my younger sister (age 24) was listed on the deed of the house with her when she purchased it. I'm asking around for feedback as to what this may entail in the future when the time comes. If she is on the house deed and I am executor, where does that leave us as far as who makes what decisions?

This does sound messy. I think your mom has the option to list the house as a trust asset or leave it separate from the trust. If it becomes a trust asset that probably affects how much "say" the sister will have in selling it later. I haven't done this...don't know.
Great! Thanks for the advice, it's a start!
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,312 posts, read 3,647,760 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by castaway365 View Post
I'm supposed to be helping my mom create a living trust (to avoid probate), or meet with a lawyer to create one. She would like me to be the executor. I really have no idea what this entails for me other than what I have viewed online. I'm sure I will be paying for it all so any recommendations where I can save money would be nice as I know lawyers aren't cheap (lawyer vs. online site?).

She has a house that is completely paid off with no liens on it. Additionally, she notified me the other day that my younger sister (age 24) was listed on the deed of the house with her when she purchased it. I'm asking around for feedback as to what this may entail in the future when the time comes. I'm a little worried as I know my sister is controlling, manipulative at times, and will ignore ethics when presented with a conflict that gives her the potential to benefit greatly. Needless to say it really is astounding what I have witnessed in the past with her. If she is on the house deed and I am executor, where does that leave us as far as who makes what decisions? Don't ask me why my mom added her to the deed because I don't know, I was living out of state; I can only presume, knowing my sister's nature.

To give you an idea, they have both shared a credit card in the last few years, maxed it out, and now blame each other for it . Speaking of, I realize that all debts must be paid before any disbursements take place. What I am trying to avoid is anything illegally done and any clashing of heads if possible. I would like to protect my part of the inheritance as bad as that may sound, and reduce the potential for deviant action on her end. Thanks in advance!
Why does she need a trust? To avoid probate then there are other ways to do it. Accounts with financial institutions can be titled transfer on death to you and your sister in x% or any one else.


Trust are normally used to protect assets, control how assets are used after death etc.


The executor is in charge of probate (assets passing under the will) and has nothing to do with the trust.


The trustee is in charge of the trust. Assume you would also be named trustee so you have the problems. Note trust assets have to have their title changed to the trust to avoid probate.


The estate (could include use of some trust assets) has to pay all the liabilities of your mother. Not you. Be careful that after her death you do not sign agreements (maybe funeral home) that makes you liable for the expense.


You need to tell us the exact title on the dead for the home. If joint with right of survivorship your sister owns the house at death and it does not go through probate. Could also be that she only gets 1/2. At any rate it is unlikely the whole house would pass under the will. If the will said house goes to son only the interest she owns would go to you. At the second your mother died your sister either inherits the whole house or part of it depending on the title on the dead. The point is the will only controls assets that do not pass because the owner did not list beneficiaries or title assets correctly.


You, your sister, your mother and everyone else should have a Will, Power of Attorney and Health directive. Probably cost about $500 but check a few elder Attornies. A trust can run thousands. You said the trust was to avoid probate so I would say you do not need a trust. If she went to a free dinner and came back with the trust idea find a new attorney.
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:38 PM
 
337 posts, read 136,414 times
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"Why does she need a trust?" is a very good question asked above.
A trust can be useful for people with complicated family and how to leave money for underage people so before she decides she "needs" a trust you should sit down with her and talk about what she is trying to do because it's possible a well written will will do the job.

The way I think about it is you pay upfront to create a trust while you are alive whereas making a will costs much less while you are alive and probate might add a little cost after you are dead. One big reason wealthy people like trusts is that they are private, no one ever gets to see who you left money to. A will is a public document, filed at the courthouse and anyone can see it, public record. Public record can be a good thing in some cases.

Don't rush into creating a trust. Talk to an elder law attorney, one who does not write trusts or wills.
If your sister is a problem bring that up in the discussion. Discuss how her name on the deed is titled which is probably the big ticket item. If this is done correctly (the way your mom wants it done IOW) you are 75% done, the rest is not as important.

Much more important is having copies of her Health Directive, Power of Attorney in your possession so that if something happens you know where to access these.
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Old 12-10-2018, 07:06 PM
 
320 posts, read 242,489 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinkletwinkle22 View Post

One big reason wealthy people like trusts is that they are private, no one ever gets to see who you left money to. A will is a public document, filed at the courthouse and anyone can see it, public record. Public record can be a good thing in some cases.
Ok I understand this makes more sense. I'm assuming she mentioned trust because her father (my grandfather) had a trust. Now it's coming together. He had close to a million $ in stocks alone and then cash accounts, times share, etc. Much of which was burned through within two years and I saw very little of.

Let me ask you this now that you brought that up. My grandfather had a trust and his will was changed when he went into the hospital a few months before he passed. There were some very shady things going on at the time with the two of them involving him. But recently, my uncle had mentioned to me about something I was supposed to receive on my next birthday (next year, 2019). That was never mentioned to me when he passed. I wasn't given a will or much information at all and as stated before, the trust is gone. Close to a million $ or more gone within two years. Is there any way to find out what he may be talking about? I always felt wrong asking and assuming something was left to me, so I never challenged anything.
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Old 12-10-2018, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,312 posts, read 3,647,760 times
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You can ask the trustee if you are included in the trust and ask for a copy of the trust. Your rights will depend on the state you live in. You probably have no rights to see the trust so you would need an attorney and probably a lot of dollars to see the trust if they do not want to show you. But if your mother was included in the trust she should have a wright to see the trust. The trust would file tax returns and the tax returns might help. The institution that help the assets in trust may have a copy of the trust and will probably tell your mother the trustee if you have to do some research to find the trustee.
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Old 12-11-2018, 03:56 AM
 
70,875 posts, read 71,228,648 times
Reputation: 48456
Quote:
Originally Posted by twinkletwinkle22 View Post
"Why does she need a trust?" is a very good question asked above.
A trust can be useful for people with complicated family and how to leave money for underage people so before she decides she "needs" a trust you should sit down with her and talk about what she is trying to do because it's possible a well written will will do the job.

The way I think about it is you pay upfront to create a trust while you are alive whereas making a will costs much less while you are alive and probate might add a little cost after you are dead. One big reason wealthy people like trusts is that they are private, no one ever gets to see who you left money to. A will is a public document, filed at the courthouse and anyone can see it, public record. Public record can be a good thing in some cases.

Don't rush into creating a trust. Talk to an elder law attorney, one who does not write trusts or wills.
If your sister is a problem bring that up in the discussion. Discuss how her name on the deed is titled which is probably the big ticket item. If this is done correctly (the way your mom wants it done IOW) you are 75% done, the rest is not as important.

Much more important is having copies of her Health Directive, Power of Attorney in your possession so that if something happens you know where to access these.
people jump in to trusts all the time and many times hurt themselves because they get poor advice from wanna be estate attorneys who are really general practitioners .

usually it is real estate that can be the problem child . many states including mine do not allow the transfer of real estate to heirs via anything but a trust or probate .

other assets can usually be passed via beneficiary .

the problem with poor advice is , so many put their homes in living trusts to avoid probate . unknowingly they took their home which is a protected asset out of their name and made it a countable asset in a living trust for purposes of qualifying for medicaid if long term care is needed .

while it is true the house in the trust avoids probate , it now becomes countable as dollars for spending down in order to qualify for medicaid .

the very house you looked to preserve now ends up having to be sold and spent down for care just to qualify for medicaid in the first place
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Old 12-11-2018, 04:18 AM
Status: "On The Lookout" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,400 posts, read 61,782,091 times
Reputation: 31969
Quote:
Originally Posted by castaway365 View Post
I'm supposed to be helping my mom create a living trust (to avoid probate),
or meet with a lawyer to create one.
Not OR. That's the first stop.
Find an elder law specializing attorney.
Few will charge more than a token $$ to get solid answers and point you in the right direction.

Quote:
She has a house that is completely paid off with no liens on it.
Unless she also has FIVE Million in a stock portfolio ...
she won't need much 'help'; maybe just a TOD.

But it's critical that what gets done is done well and correctly.
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Old 12-11-2018, 04:38 AM
 
70,875 posts, read 71,228,648 times
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the 5 million is federal . states estate taxes can be a whole other amount when it comes to estate taxes .
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