WE have a estate with real property valued at approximately 1.5 Million. We have will however do we need a living trust?

Asked over 1 year ago - Deltona, FL

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.

Attorney answers (10)

  1. Francis S Leontitsis

    Contributor Level 9

    18

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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!

  2. Charles Adam Shultz

    Contributor Level 19

    16

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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... more
  3. Paul Rudolph Miller

    Contributor Level 8

    15

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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!!)

  4. Denise Leydon Harvey

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    14

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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... more
  5. Joseph Michael Pankowski Jr

    Contributor Level 18

    14

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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... more
  6. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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... more
  7. Carol Anne Johnson

    Contributor Level 18

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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 : carol@caroljohnsonlaw.com : Wills, Trusts, Real Property, Probate,... more
  8. James P. Frederick

    Contributor Level 20

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******... more
  9. Dennis Michael Phillips

    Contributor Level 17

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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.
    dennis@411financial.com

    Reach me at dennis@411financial.com, (877) 411-3462, or (954) 900-2939. Do you know the consequences of your... more
  10. Robert Jason De Groot

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A living trust is not always necessary. Indeed, one may be completely uneccessary in your circumstances. Call for a free consultation over the phone.

    R. Jason de Groot, Esq., 386-337-8239

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