Q&A: Don’t rush when setting up your living trust

Dear Liz: Your column recently answered a question about whether a living trust was the right move, and I thought you mentioned a free online form or worksheet that one could download and fill out. Where can I find that?

Answer: Many sites offering free software or forms are actually subscription services. You typically use a credit card to sign up and are charged a monthly fee after the free trial period ends. If you can wrap up your estate planning in short order and cancel before the fee kicks in, your trust may be free — but given what’s at stake, it’s not a good idea to rush.

After all, if you make a mistake with your estate planning that’s revealed after your death, you can’t come back and fix it. That means your desire to save a few bucks could cost your heirs dearly.

At a minimum, you should consider consulting with an attorney to ensure you’re not making obvious errors. Some of the do-it-yourself sites, including LegalZoom and RocketLawyer, offer the option to consult with a lawyer. RocketLawyer, a $40-a-month subscription service, has a seven-day free trial. LegalZoom sells a $269 living trust package that includes a 30-day free trial of its subscription advice service. After the free trial, the subscription costs $15 a month. Legal self-help site Nolo has an online living trust form for $60 that doesn’t include advice, but you can use Nolo’s attorney directory to find an expert you can hire for a review.

If your situation is at all complicated — blended families, special needs children, contentious heirs, family businesses, foreign assets and large estates all count — then it’s best to seek out an experienced estate planning attorney to draft your paperwork.

Related Posts

Speak Your Mind

*