Wills vs Trust?

Updated on February 09, 2008
N.P. asks from New Lenox, IL
5 answers

Hi Moms... My husband and I just had initial conversation with a lawyer with discussion of a will vs. trust. My husband and I are very torn as to what to do and a little concerned and confused especially when it comes to our childre and probate. Does anyone have any experience with this and would be willing to tell me why they went one route vs. another. Also, what did you pay for your straight will or trust proceedings?

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answers from Chicago on

Unfortunately I DO have experience with this since I was widowed before dd was born and my husband had 2 older sons from his previous marriage.

A trust is a great idea so that you can have control over what is done with your money even after you are dead. You can put stipulations in a trust that your kids get x amount at x age, and addtional amounts at additional ages.

For example, my trust stipulates the percentages that go to each child and at what ages. At age 25 they are allowed to have 25% of their money, at age 35 they get 50% of what is left, and at 45 they get the remainder. Also, I do allow them to get it early for education purposes only, or extreme medical circumstances. And I chose a trustee that I trust to govern this money and make wise decisions with it.

This way your kids can't squander your hard-earned money on frivolous things.

I paid about $300 to have all the legal paperwork drawn up (this included a few meetings with the lawyer to talk about options and refine and clarify things).

I think a trust makes everything neater, easier, etc.

Good luck. I have the name of a good attorney if you want for this.

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answers from Chicago on

With a trust, it never goes into probate - everything that is named in the trust just gets passed onto the new trustee. There is a little more hassle up front (You need to put your house, car, 401k etc into the trust's name rather than your name) but then it is done. We're currently working on setting one up ourselves.



answers from Chicago on

If you own any real estate or other assests, you should have a living revokable trust. A will is simply stating where your assest go upon your death. A trust is where you assign someone to take care of the details, whether upon your death or incapacity to make decisions.

While you are drafting the trusts, you should be stating guardianship for all of your children. If something happens to you and your spouse and you do not have, in writing, guardianship, the state will decide for you.

A living will is a medical thing. It simply states what should and should not be done for you medically, should that time arrive (life support, etc).

I would definitely pay for a lawyer to draft everything up. We paid around $550 several years ago. This was for a lawyer in Chicago.



answers from Chicago on

You might want to consider signing up for Pre-Paid Legal Services whereby you pay a nominal monthly fee and certain legal matters are covered in full and others are discounted. I know someone who could answer questions you may have about this so write back if you'd like me to put you in touch with him.



answers from Chicago on

I don't know much about this topic, but Suze Orman was talking about this on her show the other night. I didn't catch the segment, but maybe you can try her website.

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