Trusts For The Average Person

by James B. Billings

The average person is no more confused about trusts than is the average attorney. Actually a trust can be relatively inexpensive compared to long term savings for you or your family and long term hassles, especially with state and county governments. Essentially, a simple trust can give you moore control over your assets than you have now. The most common trust applicable to the most Americans is a revocable living trust. It is revocable because during your lifetime you can always change it or get rid of it. The use of such trusts is becoming common in California and Florida. Because of competition the costs are relatively cheap, as low as $900.00. The national average is between $2500 and $3000. The savings can be tremendous.

A properly drafted trust, in these price ranges, can shelter at least Two Million dollars in assets from estate taxes. This will include State estate or inheritance taxes are those are increased in the coming years.

It can avoid probate in your state and other states where you own property. The two primary candidates to use these trusts in estates under One Million is where the probate is lengthy by practice or by statute or where a person owns property in two or more states. These people should all look at transferring assets, especially real estate, into a trust.

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About the Author

James B. Billings is a former tax counsel for the State of West Virginia and is a trust and estate planning attorney practicing in Virginia and West Virginia.

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