My estate planning lawyer said something interesting before I decided to hire her. “People who aren’t rich might need estate planning more than rich people because they might not be able to afford to pay probate fees in the case of an untimely death.”
Leave it to the US court system to make the distribution of your assets upon death, cumbersome and costly. Without a will or a Revocable Living Trust, beneficiaries will pay anywhere from 3% – 8% of the assets in fees in probate and could take potentially a year or longer for all assets to be properly distributed.
Probate fees include: personal representative fees, court fees, attorney’s fees, accounting fees, appraisal and business evaluation fees, bond fees, and other miscellaneous fees.
In comparison, settling a Revocable Living Trust on average “only” costs between 1% – 3% of assets. But in addition to a clear directive of where your assets are to go, another benefit of a Revocable Living Trust is privacy. As a Stealth Wealth practitioner, the last thing you want is everybody to see what you had and what you’re giving.
Think about the type of infighting that may happen amongst your beneficiaries if they deem your gifts unfair. Think about all the scrutiny your child might get if people find out she gets a large sum of money before adulthood. She just lost a parent or two for goodness sake. As a parent, the last thing you want is for your children to be judged by others.