In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson explains why having a Living Trust is preferred over going through probate.
Greetings, I’m Wes Coulson from Dent Colson Elder Law, and this will be your elder law minute. We’re happy to present these because we think we can help inform you as to the ways in which we can help you and the things that you need to think about, uh, relative to the elder care and estate planning journey. Hope you enjoy.
One of the reasons that we prefer that our clients have a living trust if their estate is large enough to go through probate is that probate is so darn time-consuming and expensive. So, you might be wondering, well, why is that the case? Well, let me explain that in terms of the choice that the legislature had to go through in setting up the probate rules. It was really a horrible choice because choice number one is assume that everybody going through the process is a den of thieves, that unless somebody stopped them, they would leave creditors unpaid, they would pay more of the estate to themselves, they would have beneficiaries that got a part of the estate and not tell them anything, and just not pay off their share of the estate. And so, the way to stop that is you gotta do this, you gotta do this, you gotta do this, report to the court, publish it, notice in the newspaper, and all that gets time-consuming and expensive.
So, why is the legislature putting everybody through that? Well, they may have looked at that and said, well, you know, 99 out of 100 people are honest, that won’t be a problem. But the problem with that is, if you don’t put those barricades up, those hoops, what you’re saying to the one out of a hundred who are crooks is, hey, there’s no law against it, go ahead and do it, no consequence. You can get away with it. And simply put, we don’t want a system that’s going to let the crooks get away with it.
Why are living trusts different? Well, as I like to tell people, if you have a will, it’s going to be administered in accordance with the laws of the state of Illinois or Missouri. If you have a living trust, I have a living trust, my living trust will be administered in accordance with the laws of the kingdom of Coulson. Okay? So, I want my rules to apply, and I know that the people I named are people that I can trust, and we can avoid that time-consuming and expensive process.
So, for more discussion on your situation involving these concerns and more concerning farmland, call us at Dent Coulson Elder Law.
Also looking for information about Medicaid and Asset Preservation? Visit these articles:
“Your Trusted Advisor on the Elder Care Journey”
Dent-Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Dent-Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618) 632-7000 (IL) or (314) 567-9292 (MO), or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.