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Cut Your Living Expenses w/o Lowering Your Standard of Living

  1. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
    you see people trying to save money all the time even doing these complex and word sensitive documents like wills and trusts all the time .

    in my life time we already experienced 2x the effects of poorly constructed wills that ended up costing us a lot of money .

    this is another area that if people think the cost of good advice is expensive ,wait and see what cheap cost
    I agree with both MJ and Butterfly about the value of good legal advice - my mother's trust was written by the same attorney who did ours and her (well over $1.5 M estate) went through without a hitch, even though she excluded one of her children via an amendment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    I worked as a paralegal for nearly 50 years, and know from experience that many people do not realize, or do not want to accept, that attorneys specialize almost as much as doctors. We had clients that didn't want to hear it or even got offended when we told them we could not represent them in a particular matter because our expertise was not in the field they needed. You don't want your general practice family attorney tackling complicated trust and estate or tax matters any more than you want your family practice physician doing your heart transplant.
    So you're recommending both a trust attorney and an elder law attorney? Sigh... I would think that when we updated our trust (only 3 years ago) this would have been a reasonable conversation for him to have with us, especially since his rates are not low by any means ($1800 for a simple, straightforward update for an uncomplicated trust, the largest asset being our home).

    To further your analogy, while I wouldn't want or expect my GP doing a heart transplant, I would expect that in consideration of my age he would have done some cursory checks on my cardio vascular system and suggested I see a specialist if things were a little wonky there. I shouldn't have to diagnose my own symptoms on an internet forum, if you get my drift.
    “The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.” - Fred Rogers

  2. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarSong View Post
    I agree with both MJ and Butterfly about the value of good legal advice - my mother's trust was written by the same attorney who did ours and her (well over $1.5 M estate) went through without a hitch, even though she excluded one of her children via an amendment.



    So you're recommending both a trust attorney and an elder law attorney? Sigh... I would think that when we updated our trust (only 3 years ago) this would have been a reasonable conversation for him to have with us, especially since his rates are not low by any means ($1800 for a simple, straightforward update for an uncomplicated trust, the largest asset being our home).

    To further your analogy, while I wouldn't want or expect my GP doing a heart transplant, I would expect that in consideration of my age he would have done some cursory checks on my cardio vascular system and suggested I see a specialist if things were a little wonky there. I shouldn't have to diagnose my own symptoms on an internet forum, if you get my drift.
    usually an estate attorney does elder law too.

    we did 2 wills. 2 disclaimer trusts and healthcare proxies and poa and it was 4800. The disclaimer trusts were very costly. Now that ny is the same as the federal amount for passing tax free we don’t even need them anymore
    Last edited by mathjak107; 07-23-2018 at 01:25 PM.

  3. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
    usually an estate attorney does elder law too.

    we did 2wills. 2 disclaimer trusts and healthcare proxies and poa and it was 4800. The disclaimer trusts were very costly. Now that ny is the same as the federal amount for passing tax free we don’t even need them anymore
    Without your trust your estate would have to go through probate though, correct?
    “The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.” - Fred Rogers

  4. #109
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    no , everything we have is beneficiary ...... no probate .

    we needed the disclaimer trust because at the time ny had only a 2 million dollar estate tax exemption and if you went over by 5% you just did not pay on the overage you paid the whole tax from dollar 1 . it was a joke how they did it . so the surviving spouse had up to 9 months to elect to throw a switch and split the estate in to 2 with 1/2 in an irrevocable trust so 2x could pass .

    today ny is over 5 million so we don't need it right now . i hope markets do that well and one day one of us has to throw that switch .
    Last edited by mathjak107; 07-23-2018 at 01:25 PM.

  5. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarSong View Post
    Without your trust your estate would have to go through probate though, correct?

    i pulled all money from vanguard .

    they deleted all beneficiaries on joint accounts without any notification . we only found out because they re-did their website and it presents a things to do list .

    it showed add beneficiaries and we knew we did it .

    well i tried adding them and it gave an error so i contacted them .

    apparently in their judgement common deaths are not common enough and in the event of one they prefer you use a trust .

    which by the way they just happen to be promoting their trust dept .

    we don't need a trust or want a trust so the only option was to break up the joint accounts in to individual accounts and add beneficiaries back . no thanks ..

    fidelity could not believe vanguard did that , our rep had to confirm it for themselves it was so stupid .

    we ended up pulling everything out and going to chase to get the private client perks . they too were surprised vanguard tried to push us in to trusts .

    on top of that i experience the worst customer service ever from them . getting passed around like a hot potato when i had an acat transfer question .

    instead of taking the info like fidelity does and getting someone on the line or someone to call back , they just kept passing us off calling different numbers .

    they finally passed us to a number that no one ever answered . for laughs we left the multiple phones we tried calling in on where we got a message to hold for the next rep and 1 hour and 15 minutes later we stopped counting and hung up .

    in my opinion they suck!!!!!!!

  6. #111
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    Sep 2014
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    Albuquerque, New Mexico USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarSong View Post
    I agree with both MJ and Butterfly about the value of good legal advice - my mother's trust was written by the same attorney who did ours and her (well over $1.5 M estate) went through without a hitch, even though she excluded one of her children via an amendment.



    So you're recommending both a trust attorney and an elder law attorney? Sigh... I would think that when we updated our trust (only 3 years ago) this would have been a reasonable conversation for him to have with us, especially since his rates are not low by any means ($1800 for a simple, straightforward update for an uncomplicated trust, the largest asset being our home).

    To further your analogy, while I wouldn't want or expect my GP doing a heart transplant, I would expect that in consideration of my age he would have done some cursory checks on my cardio vascular system and suggested I see a specialist if things were a little wonky there. I shouldn't have to diagnose my own symptoms on an internet forum, if you get my drift.
    No, not two different attorneys -- just don't expect an attorney with a general practice to do complicated stuff like trusts. As someone else said, elder law attorneys and trust and estate attorneys generally do both.

    Reputable attorneys will tell you when you are out of their depth, but my experience is that many people don't understand that just because you an attorney doesn't mean you practice in all areas of the law -- thus the "heart transplant" thing. Sorry if I was misleading.

  7. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarSong View Post
    Without your trust your estate would have to go through probate though, correct?
    No. All my stuff except my house is "beneficiary" also, My house is on a Transfer on Death deed (which not all states have), so that upon filing of proof of my death, i.e., a death certificate, the house automatically transfers to my son, thus avoiding probate. The TOD deed can be revoked or altered by me as long as I am alive and does not affect my ability to sell or whatever else, the house.

    My personal belief is that with a bit of planning most (at least those of us without minor children or a beneficiary who is incompetent to manage his/her own affairs) of us can avoid the trust or will-to-probate thing, which is expensive and time consuming. If property passes through a will, it must be probated, at least in my state it does.

  8. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
    you see people trying to save money all the time even doing these complex and word sensitive documents like wills and trusts all the time .

    in my life time we already experienced 2x the effects of poorly constructed wills that ended up costing us a lot of money .

    this is another area that if people think the cost of good advice is expensive ,wait and see what cheap cost
    A big fat "AMEN!" to that!

  9. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarSong View Post
    We have a trust attorney who is roughly 60 years old. His specialty is estate planning, trust & probate. I shot him an email about this after reading your post above and doing a little internet research.
    did he ever get back to you ?

  10. #115
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    Aug 2015
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    Northeast PA. Live near the NASCAR track, with deer, bears, rabbits. On an always growing lawn.
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    Before doing anything, get legal advice. What works well in one state is illegal in another. And states are always changing the rules to squeeze out every last cent they can.

  11. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
    did he ever get back to you ?
    Hi MJ, yes, he did. He said we had assets that would be affected earlier than our house, so basically an answer that's a non-answer. He's pro LTC insurance, which we opted against and are not interested in revisiting that particular decision.

    I recently spoke to an attorney friend who suggested we have a consult with an elder law attorney, so that will be our next step. It may behoove us to move our house out of the trust and into Joint Tenancy. Yes, we'd have to deal with probate if we died at the same time, but that's a risk we're willing to take.

    As FB said, laws vary from state to state.
    “The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.” - Fred Rogers

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