Accountant Forums


Reply
Thread Tools

A/B trust do-it-yourself?

 
 
joeDOTweinsteinATgmailDOTcom
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      03-28-2011, 07:04 PM
Hi folks,
My wife and I own our home in California and have good retirement
accounts.
I think we would benefit from an A/B trust. Can I establish an A/B
trust and put
our assets into it by myself, or is this something an intelligent non-
lawyer always
pays a lawyer to do?
thanks!
Joe

 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
Dave Dodson
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      03-28-2011, 08:24 PM
On Mar 28, 2:04*pm, joeDOTweinsteinATgmailDOTcom
<joe.weinst...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I think we would benefit from an A/B trust. Can I establish an A/B
> trust and put our assets into it by myself, or is this something an
> intelligent non-lawyer always pays a lawyer to do?


Nolo Press has some do-it-yourself information about this at nolo.com,
and also some books, I think.

Whether do-it-yourself is a good idea or not is not easy to answer.
Problems probably won't be discovered until you are dead and can't fix
them.

As I understand it, the current federal estate tax laws do not start
taxing inheritances until $5 million, and any unused portion of the
estate of the first to die is transferred to the surviving spounse, so
maybe it is moot until 2013. Who knows what Congress will do with
those limits in two years.

Ask at misc.legal.moderated for another opinion.

Dave

 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
Gene E. Utterback, EA, RFC, ABA
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      03-29-2011, 06:03 PM

"joeDOTweinsteinATgmailDOTcom" <> wrote in message
news:3e62c3b1-96ab-4b84-8d1f-...
> Hi folks,
> My wife and I own our home in California and have good retirement
> accounts.
> I think we would benefit from an A/B trust. Can I establish an A/B
> trust and put
> our assets into it by myself, or is this something an intelligent non-
> lawyer always
> pays a lawyer to do?
> thanks!
> Joe



It isn't that most folks aren't smart enough to do this on their own.
Rather, its more that this is one of those areas where its best to use a
professional, if for no other reason than because WHEN a question will arise
about what something means it will happen AFTER you're dead. Its very hard
to get dead folks to answer questions.

I'd recommend that you get some info on A/B trusts, maybe buy a DIY kit from
someone like NOLO Press and go over the paperwork. Maybe even draft up your
own version so you'll understand what kind of information is needed. Then
go visit a trust lawyer to get the real version done. This way you won't
spend 3 hours thinking about answers to questions, you'll be better
prepared.

Gene E. Utterback, EA, RFC, ABA

 
Reply With Quote
 
Pico Rico
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      03-29-2011, 07:49 PM

"Gene E. Utterback, EA, RFC, ABA" <> wrote in message
news:imt3cq$der$...
>
> "joeDOTweinsteinATgmailDOTcom" <> wrote in message
> news:3e62c3b1-96ab-4b84-8d1f-...
>> Hi folks,
>> My wife and I own our home in California and have good retirement
>> accounts.
>> I think we would benefit from an A/B trust. Can I establish an A/B
>> trust and put
>> our assets into it by myself, or is this something an intelligent non-
>> lawyer always
>> pays a lawyer to do?
>> thanks!
>> Joe

>
>
> It isn't that most folks aren't smart enough to do this on their own.
> Rather, its more that this is one of those areas where its best to use a
> professional, if for no other reason than because WHEN a question will
> arise about what something means it will happen AFTER you're dead. Its
> very hard to get dead folks to answer questions.



I'd say that the most important reason to hire a pro is that he might bring
up issues you hadn't thought of. Of course, for a simple A/B trust, the
"pros" are not all that professional. The real pros work on much more
interesting estate plans.

 
Reply With Quote
 
Don
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      03-29-2011, 08:48 PM
On Mar 29, 11:03*am, "Gene E. Utterback, EA, RFC, ABA"
<g...@alliancetax.com> wrote:

> It isn't that most folks aren't smart enough to do this on their own.
> Rather, its more that this is one of those areas where its best to use a
> professional, if for no other reason than because WHEN a question will arise
> about what something means it will happen AFTER you're dead. *Its very hard
> to get dead folks to answer questions.



That is certainly wise when the problem faced is complex and contains
pitfalls of which only a professional is aware. In issues that arise
in medicine, law, tax accounting, engineering, etc. it is generally a
sensible and safe way to proceed. A difficulty that arises in
investment, finance, and various other kinds of services, however, is
that there are a lot of people pretending to be "professionals," who
in reality should be thought of as salesmen, or sometimes worse,
scamsters.

I believe those pretenders are numerous enough in the financial realm
such that the job of finding a true "professional" to help with
investments carries considerable risk. I would suggest the main focus
should be on insuring a FIDUCIARY relationship. What you want is a
knowledgeable professional who is subject to severe sanctions if he or
she acts in any way that conflicts with your own best interests and is
motivated by fear of what can actually happen by doing otherwise.

 
Reply With Quote
 
Bill
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      03-29-2011, 11:34 PM
In the case of financial professionals I agree but the A/B trust is a
legal issue. If the OP finds an attorney who is certified by his state
bar association as an estate and trust specialist he should be
confident in getting someone competent.

--
.Bill.

 
Reply With Quote
 
Don
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      03-29-2011, 11:59 PM
On Mar 29, 4:34*pm, "Bill" <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:

> In the case of financial professionals I agree but the A/B trust is a
> legal issue. If the OP finds an attorney who is certified by his state
> bar association as an estate and trust specialist he should be
> confident in getting someone competent.


Agreed! But the advice to "see a professional," although commonly made
in financial newsgroups and certainly wise in specific circumstances,
can be misinterpreted by novices to imply that anybody advertising to
provide advice is a professional.

 
Reply With Quote
 
ps56k
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      04-09-2011, 02:07 PM

"joeDOTweinsteinATgmailDOTcom" <> wrote in message
news:3e62c3b1-96ab-4b84-8d1f-...
> Hi folks,
> My wife and I own our home in California and have good retirement
> accounts.
> I think we would benefit from an A/B trust. Can I establish an A/B
> trust and put
> our assets into it by myself, or is this something an intelligent non-
> lawyer always
> pays a lawyer to do?
> thanks!
> Joe
>


having gone thru all this with my wife's parents and their real estate
holdings,
one MAJOR thing has come to light....

In my observation - there are really 3 steps involved with any Trust
arrangement,
and one HUGE mis-understanding.... at least by myself.

1 - setup the Trust agreement - which is merely a paper doc filed with a
local state.
2 - re-assign, convey, or transfer assets to the Trust as the "owner"
3 - this is the kicker - keep a really good file of what is actually in the
Trust

I had thought that the Trust was like some kind of account,
and you would then be able to see all the items listed out in the "Trust"
account.
This is not true.... you have to do it all on your own.

My wife's parents had setup the Trust, but NEVER actually transferred
anything.
When they died - we all thought the Trust was set.... it was just a useless
piece of paper.
It's taken several years to get all the properties transferred into the
Trust - only in name -

SO - correct me if I'm wrong - but the biggest part of the Trust,
is actually having someone keep track of exactly what is in the Trust -

 
Reply With Quote
 
Pico Rico
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      04-09-2011, 03:59 PM

"ps56k" <> wrote in message
news:inpllj$44e$...
>
> "joeDOTweinsteinATgmailDOTcom" <> wrote in message
> news:3e62c3b1-96ab-4b84-8d1f-...
>> Hi folks,
>> My wife and I own our home in California and have good retirement
>> accounts.
>> I think we would benefit from an A/B trust. Can I establish an A/B
>> trust and put
>> our assets into it by myself, or is this something an intelligent non-
>> lawyer always
>> pays a lawyer to do?
>> thanks!
>> Joe
>>

>
> having gone thru all this with my wife's parents and their real estate
> holdings,
> one MAJOR thing has come to light....
>
> In my observation - there are really 3 steps involved with any Trust
> arrangement,
> and one HUGE mis-understanding.... at least by myself.
>
> 1 - setup the Trust agreement - which is merely a paper doc filed with a
> local state.
> 2 - re-assign, convey, or transfer assets to the Trust as the "owner"
> 3 - this is the kicker - keep a really good file of what is actually in
> the Trust
>
> I had thought that the Trust was like some kind of account,
> and you would then be able to see all the items listed out in the "Trust"
> account.
> This is not true.... you have to do it all on your own.
>
> My wife's parents had setup the Trust, but NEVER actually transferred
> anything.
> When they died - we all thought the Trust was set.... it was just a
> useless piece of paper.
> It's taken several years to get all the properties transferred into the
> Trust - only in name -
>
> SO - correct me if I'm wrong - but the biggest part of the Trust,
> is actually having someone keep track of exactly what is in the Trust -


yes, that is the biggest part of any trust, any business, any household,
etc. Few things in life are "set it and forget it".

And, I am unaware that the trust instrument (document) has to be "filed with
a local state". Or anywhere else.


======================================= MODERATOR'S COMMENT:
Please trim the post to which you respond. "Trim" means that except for some brief material to provide context for your remarks, the previous post is deleted. Thank you.

 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Special Needs Trust owning and renting a house to the trust beneficiary robert.moredock@gmail.com Tax 1 03-23-2012 04:34 AM
Reform a Credit Shelter Trust to make it a Grantor Trust? jba Tax 1 11-22-2007 05:23 PM
Is the Credit Shelter Trust a Grantor Trust? jba Tax 23 10-29-2007 07:32 PM
Living Trust:trust return CBres77376 Tax 2 04-08-2004 08:41 PM
Credit Trust / Marital Trust simplified question Raymond Tax 4 01-28-2004 05:48 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:50 PM.
Posts in this forum do not constitute the advice of AccountantForums.com or its members. Financial advice should always be taken from qualified advisors before committing to a financial decision.