We have wills however been told that wills do not negate the need for probate and that the wills must go through probate and will delay any settlement among heirs for weeks, months and possibly years? We are wanting to keep things as simple for our children as possible.
You should meet with a reputable estate planning attorney. There are many that post on AVVO who seem to be very professional and very knowledgeable in the Trust area. You would be wise to meet with one and pay for a well thought out plan.
The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or given me confidential information by posting on this public forum, and my answer on this public forum does not constitute attorney-client advice. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: In order to comply with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. While I am licensed to practice in New York and California, I do not actively practice in New York. Regardless, nothing said should be deemed an opinion of law of any state. All readers need to do their own research or pay an attorney for a legal opinion if one is necessary or desired.
16 lawyers agree
Guardianship Law Attorney
I absolutely agree with Attorney Shultz. With these assets why would you risk doing somehting that may cost your children in the future? Please speak with an experienced probate / elder law attorney in your area.
Please note: The above is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to establish and does not establish any attorney-client relationship.
Attorneys Shultz and Harvey are correct. Please retain an experienced estate planning lawyer to prepare the necessary documentation which will allow you to avoid probate and make things easier on your children. Good luck to you.
This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. I am licensed in Connecticut and New York and my answers are based upon the law in those jurisdictions. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if I were to review a client's file and have the opportunity to interview the client. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to retain an attorney in your jurisdiction with respect to any legal matter.
Estate Planning Attorney
You have taken a good first step by seeking the advice of licensed attorneys on Avvo. Now take the next logical step and find an estate planning attorney in your area using Avvo's search function and meet with him/her to discuss your estate plan. There is no bright-line rule regarding when one should have a will and/or trust. Only an estate planning attorney familiar with your entire family situation, asset structure, and testamentary goals can give you the advice you need, so make an appointment with one as soon as possible. Good luck!
18 lawyers agree
Estate Planning Attorney
Who told you that probating a will can take years?? Only if the will is challenged and/or is not validly executed. If you are comfortable doing so, you should speak with the attorney who drafted your wills and make sure that you have the originals where your personal representative can easily find them. Worse than trusting your estate to a will is having your family not be able to locate the original - which MUST be filed with the court. If you put it in a safe deposit box (which is a good idea) make sure that your personal representative is a signatory on the box so that he/she can retrieve it when you are gone.
Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. : (727) 647-6645 : firstname.lastname@example.org : Wills, Trusts, Real Property, Probate, Special Needs: Information provided here is anecdotal and should not be relied upon or considered legal advice. Every matter is different and answers given here are general in nature and may not reflect current Florida law at the time you are reading this posting. Please contact me if you feel you need additional assistance with your matter.
11 lawyers agree
Estate Planning Attorney
Creating a comprehensive estate plan is oftentimes one of the most generous gifts for your children. A revocable living trust can provide a mechanism to manage assets for children for many years (if necessary because your children are minors or are not ready to manage money yet), and provide for a reasonable way to provide them with funds to support their education, healthcare, or maintenance. A trust can also provide for cost-effective distribution of your assets after you and your spouse are deceased. You and your spouse have spent considerable time and effort accumulating your nest egg-- don't skimp now by only having Wills; meet with a local estate planning attorney who can discuss the benefits of a Trust, Durable Powers of Attorney for Finances, and Advance Health Care Directives. (Your children will thank you for doing this!!)
15 lawyers agree
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
I often use what I call a Probate Avoidance Deed for keeping real estate out of probate. You don't state how many parcels make up that $1.5 million or whether it involves Homestead property (which raises certain planning issues); so we can't give you blanket advice. But I am sure that any of us would be happy to work with you to help you reach your goals and keep things simple and inexpensive for your children.
Reach me at email@example.com, (877) 411-3462, or (954) 900-2939. Do you know the consequences of your legal situation on your Financial & Estate Plan? I run a Florida law practice and a nationwide financial planning practice (411 Financial) in which I mostly work with people/families who have recently undergone a legal claim like personal injury, divorce, wrongful termination, etc. I find that money without purpose finds a way of getting spent; so I work with my clients to make sure that they have something to show for all of their troubles well after their legal claims are resolved. Securities and investment advisory services are offered through Brokers International Financial Services, LLC, member FINRA/SIPC, Panora, Iowa, Brokers International Financial Services, LLC is not affiliated with 411 Financial, 411 LegalDox, or 411 FlaLaw. Disclaimer: The response above is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, would significantly alter the above response.
8 lawyers agree
Estate Planning Attorney
Just the minimal cost of even a small probate estate ca be $1500 attorney fee) plus around $600 in cost.
A living trust if properly funded can avoid that cost and most attorney fees.
You should consult with a local attorney to analyze your estate and come up with a plan.
The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.
You have received some great advice. Much of it is contradictory. The problem with a site like this is that we get only a small snippet of facts and very little in the way of your objectives. In most cases, it is necessary for an estate planning attorney to sit down with a client and discuss the entire situation before being able to answer questions like the ones you posed. This sometimes takes an hour or more of time. Many lawyers do not charge for this initial consultation. The answers to your questions depend on a number of things. There is no "one-size-fits-all" estate plan. That is one of the things that keeps an estate planning lawyer coming into the office each day. We get to see and hear all kinds of different situations. It is like a jigsaw puzzle that needs to be put together. Each client has different pieces and the picture looks different.
You owe it to yourselves and your loved ones to make sure this is set up properly, in order to achieve your objectives as cost-effectively as possible. You are wise to seek your estate planning advice from qualified estate planning attorneys only and to take care of this while you can clearly sort through your options.
***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!