I wanted to call your attention to an article written by Paul Premack in the San Antonio Express. In the article, Premack reminds us that there is literally no such thing as a free lunch. This is especially true in the world of trusts. Read the article HERE. Several of my clients have mentioned attending a luncheon seminar about (that didn’t “cost” anything) living trusts.
As I’ve said before, I don’t recommend living trusts in Texas very often. So, why are these people offering free lunches to tell you about all the wonders of living trusts? Because they want to SELL you a living trust and living trusts are relatively easy to sell.
You don’t have to take my word for it–visit the Texas Attorney General’s website for an article cautioning seniors on the pitfalls of Living Trusts. This article is entitled, “Seniors: Living Trusts Are Not For Everyone.” A Living Trust, regardless of what your friends, people on TV, radio ads, or free luncheon seminars tell you, is simply not the perfect solution for passing assets to your heirs. They carry their own pros and cons that must be weighed, so don’t believe everything you hear.
Living trusts can help with passing property to your heirs outside the probate process. Probate has been demonized; so, anything that can help your loved ones stay out of probate court is great, right? Well, probably not. As I’ve said before, the probate process in Texas is quick and inexpensive relative to most other states. You probably shouldn’t go to great lengths to avoid probate in Texas, so a living trust generally doesn’t make sense.
There are some instances in which a living trust is a decent idea, to wit: (1) when you want to avoid probate because you know your heirs will fight in court, or (2) you own property outside the state of Texas.
If you don’t fall into one of those two categories, you should be careful about attending one of these “free” lunches about living trusts. It’s best to consult an attorney, one who’s not trying to persuade you by dangling food in front of you, to help you with your estate planning. Estate planning doesn’t have to be a huge pain, and it doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket. So, feel free to shop around to find the attorney that seems like the best fit for you.
Isaac Shutt is the Attorney/Owner at Shutt Law Firm PLLC. Visit http://www.shuttlawfirm.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call Mr. Shutt at (214) 302-8197 for more information on the topic discussed in this blog or to discuss a different legal matter. Phone-calls and quick e-mails are always free at Shutt Law Firm PLLC. Please consider the Shutt Law Firm if you’re looking for a Richardson probate lawyer, Richardson wills lawyer, Richardson estate planning attorney, or Richardson guardianship lawyer.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this blog post constitutes legal advice. If you have a legal question, you should consult an attorney. Further, nothing in this blog shall be construed to have started an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship exists until you sign an engagement letter with the Firm.