I understand I need to set up a trust, per my financial advisor, to make it easier on my beneficiary. It would be VERY simple, less than 2 million in assets, 1 beneficiary. No divorces or step kids. Cost too much (+$2000) for a lawyer. Would one be just as valid from a stationary store or a do-it-yourself kit?
Thelugs seems to me that we really do not have enough information to give you a good answer. A couple of things you might want to consider is the beneficiary your spouse, is the 2 mil in assets mostly a home or life insurance? I would think that even if you had to pay $2,000 to set it up (this seems high) it is still only 1/10 of a percent of the total assets. I think I would lean towards using an attorney.
What is the cost of peace of mind? There is a lot to think about when looking at a trust. The attorney will make sure all of your property titles are in the name of the trust. Do you want any portion to go to charity? Should some funds be set aside for aging parents?
But from my own experience, I would ask you “How do your extended family members react to death?” When I was widowed my husband’s siblings were AWEFULL!!! We didn’t have any children and his will (not a trust) left everything to me. You want it to be fool-proof!! If there were any loophole in the document they would have made my life Hell!!
This is not the time to scrimp. Get a good attorney and a legally-filed trust.
From that same experience I realized that my dear sister whom I had always assumed would be the executor of my will, is not capable of dealing with the legality of death. She had to see my husband’s body before she stopped saying “There must be a mistake” and then she just shut down with shock. I have decided to put a non-family member in charge of my trust.
Look into LegalZoom for a step by step procedure.
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