What You Don’t Know About Probate Can Cost You $$$

Probate costs money…up to 5% of your estate. Suprisingly, probate does not only impact the wealthy. The people who are impacted the most by probate are usually the ones who have the smallest estates. And, unfortunately for them they are also the least likely to plan ahead to avoid probate. What most people fail to realize is that probate costs are based on the gross size of the estate and not on the net worth. Why the gross size? Because the court has to make sure that your debts, including probate fees, are paid or resolved before it can pass your assets to your heirs. Therefore the fees are calculated on the entire estate, including your debts.

How do you avoid probate ? The only way: A GOOD TRUST. A Good Trust will provide a lot of benefits that a Simple Will will not. And the cost of a Trust will certainly be far less than the cost of probate.

The most common trust is a Revocable Trust. Here are some of the benefits of a Revocable Trust:

  • The Revocable Trust will avoid probate. The successor trustee whom you have selected will distribute your assets as instructed in your trust. With probate fees at 5%, this can save the estate a lot of money
  • The cost of a Revocable Trust is usually about half the cost to probate an estate of $100,000.
  • A trust gives you flexibility and control over the disposition of your assets. You can change or revoke your trust for any reason and you retain full control over the assets in the trust while you are alive.
  • A trust will also avoid time delays that are usually caused by probate. All the successor trustee needs to transfer the assets to your heirs is a death certificate and a copy of the trust.
  • Revocable Trusts are not a matter of public record so they are much more private than probate which is part of the public record. The trustee does not have to reveal the provisions of the trust to anyone unless instructed so by the trust itself.

As a service to our reps and clients, ISN is affiliated with the American Academy of Estate and Asset Protection Planners. Through this relationship we have access to a national firm that can write a trust for your clients or for you no matter where you may live. It is a simple process and we can help you learn how to provide this service to your clients as well. Give me a call and let me help you help your clients.

About Jeffrey Berson

40 years in and around the industry has made Insurance a part of my DNA. I have had the pleasure of working with and for some of the greatest minds in our industry. My "Bersonal" View is an attempt to capture some of the best ideas, the best concepts and the best practices in a way that can lead to success for others. It will certainly be my point of view, so please...don't take it "Bersonal".
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