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Old 07-19-2010, 03:19 PM
Location: Midwest transplant
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We have up to date wills, but our financial advisor recommended that we put all of our holdings, real estate, and portfolio contents into a trust. We currently live in PA where a will would have to be probated, 15% automatically goes to the state and then the beneficiaries of the will would receive their pay outs. We don't have children, so the whole process will have to be handled by our oldest neice, who lives about 100 miles from our residence. The FA persuaded us to look into trusts because they are easier to transfer, dissolve and she could also take charge of the trust when one of us was no longer able to make decisions about health care or financial matters. We completely trust her, but don't want to create resentment with legal hassles when the time comes.

Any one have an opinion. BTW, we will probably exit this state and move to one where inheritance taxes are nil/nada/0 for recipients, regardless of their relationship to deceased.
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:14 PM
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we have a 2nd home in pa which eventually will be our retirement home... i think if everything goes in the trust then the 15% should be saved but at this stage i know nothing about pa laws.
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:38 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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I would have your trust drawn up in a 'friendly' state. I seems to be an easier solution, but really depends on your estate size and the complexity of distribution. (currently $3m, but rolls back to $1m if the nuts in WA don't get off their duff before 2011)

I used a spendy lawyer, it was $1200 to set-up, and recently $2000 to 're-declare' (after kids are now old enough to not need guardians, and our bequeaths changed a bit.)

I feel this could be done with some GOOD legal coaching for ~ $500. It is very important to transfer stuff into the trust (investments / properties / personal assets + a form of business assets funding into trust). There is plenty of space outside the trust for personal effects and cars (except collectibles).

Mine is about a 75 page document. Probably the most valuable advice from MS. BigBucks, was to 'meter' fund distributions and control of assets to kids as they age. (e.e. 20% every 5 yrs or such). Don't do it all at once or kid's spouse my feel like a lottery winner, and abscond with the loot.

Mine is a bit difficult in distribution, as I have lots of needy family and charitable causes I've supported for 40 yrs. Kids get what's left (very little at this point).
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