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Trust Issues

by | Mar 6, 2024 | Member Spotlights | 0 comments

Did you know, that according to Gallup, only 46% of American adults have a living will? Put another way, there is no provided intention for the assets of more than half of Americans after they pass. That statistic alone doesn’t tell the whole story either.

Today’s Presenter, George Remy of George Remy Law shared not only why 46% is an abysmal number for adults to have a will completed, but that for those 46%, a living will itself may not be adequate.

The issue with only completing a will is that it’s just that—your will for your assets upon your passing. Other names for this device could be hope, wish, or intent because aside from being officially recognized by the legal system as the hope/wish/intent for one’s assets, it doesn’t carry any of its own true legal enforcement or process. Therefore, it’s still required by law for a probate court to sort through the intentions of the deceased and rule on every asset’s ultimate direction.

Despite the help of a will, this process is often still quite messy, and will go on for months and years, potentially damaging family relationships and finances in its wake. One common example of the pain this can cause is that a house held up in probate court can’t be sold yet—but it still must be up-kept, heated, pay tax+HOA, etc—causing a real burden for family members left behind, while dealing with loss already. To add further insult, in this situation, the will and all records of the proceeding would remain publicly available as records of the court.

The good thing though—all of this can be avoided. By creating a trust, individuals create a legal entity, much like a private corporation, to hold and distribute family assets as instructed upon passing. As a legal entity with formalized bylaws, there is no need for court involvement, and all financial records involved in the transaction remain protected private information.

So why doesn’t everyone have a trust?

Good question. They should. The real answer contains the usuals: lack of the immediate time, information, and funds for the up front cost, which is typically a few thousand dollars.

It is true that setting up a trust is a sizable one-time investment and requires some time and energy to initiate—but that cost, time, and energy is only a sliver of what is to be saved for your loved ones in the long run with a clear plan in place, set up by an experienced estate planning professional.

To start your plan, connect with George Remy of George Remy Law by emailing GEORGEREMYLAW@GMAIL.COM to set an appointment, or calling him at 734-637-0796.

Visit us next week to connect with local professionals and hear more great presentations like George’s; and become a member to eventually deliver one of your own!

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