Problem #1: Choosing the wrong trustee. Many people believe that you must name your bank as your trustee, but this is not the case. I recommend you act as your own trustee so you continue to manage and invest your assets, just as you do now.
Problem #2: Leaving your trust empty. A living trust is like a safety deposit box. It’s a good place to put your valuables, but it won’t do any good if you leave it empty. It’s not uncommon for people to have a lawyer draw up their trust and then, years later, still have to go through probate. Why? Because neither they nor their attorney ever put their assets into the trust. Your property must be put into the trust. But don’t worry. The process of retitling assets and changing the names on bank and brokerage accounts is easier than you think.
Problem #3: Initial cost. A living trust is more expensive to set up than a simple will. But, in the long run, the cost will be much less because the living trusts allow you to avoid probate, guardianships, and conservatorships.
Problem #4: Nuisance factor. Each time you buy or sell a trust asset, you must make careful notes about the transaction. You might find this to be a nuisance, even though the trust benefits you in so many ways.
Problem #5: The potential for poor management. You could find that the person you selected to manage your affairs is not a good manager. Your choices for successor trustee(s) should be family members or friends you can trust. Corporate trustees, such as banks, are also an option. This potential problem exists even if you don’t have a living trust.
Problem #6: Refinancing real estate may be inconvenient. Some mortgage companies and banks require that you take real estate out of your trust before they will place a new mortgage on your property. Once the financing is complete, then you simply transfer the property back into your trust.
Problem #7: Keeping a list of assets in your trust. Some people don’t like to keep track of assets they put into their trust. Others don’t mind this small amount of extra work. When you want to add something to your trust, you simply title it in the name of the trust and add it to your list. I assure you the benefits of having a living trust far outweigh these minor inconveniences.
I invite you to call for a free appointment to learn how you can protect your family and your assets. Also, if you have any questions or comments, you’re welcome to call me at 303-974-4400. I’ll be pleased to speak with you over the telephone without charge.