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USAToday provided some basics on wills and living trusts this weekend.

As the nation's elderly population has surged, so have sales of living trusts. The pitch is simple: You stash your assets in a trust. Upon your death, the trust distributes the assets to your heirs. In doing so, it bypasses probate, the often costly and time-consuming process by which a court distributes assets.

Some drawbacks to living trusts:

You must fund the trust. If you don't change ownership of your assets to the trust, it serves no purpose. Sometimes funding the trust can be onerous: You have to get new deeds for any property you own, for example. If you hire a lawyer to make sure the trust is funded, you'll have to pay for his time.

You still need a will. If you have any assets that aren't part of the trust, your will will determine who gets them when you die.

You'll still have to pay. Your lawyer will need about 10 hours to craft the trust and will, Randolph says. At $150 an hour, you're looking at a $1,500 bill.


Posted on Sunday, February 11 by Registered CommenterWise Owl in | Comments Off