Gail Liberman—personal finance columnist for Dow Jones Retirement Weekly and the Palm Beach Daily News, contributing editor for Financial Advisor magazine, and best-selling author (her latest book is “Quick Steps to Financial Stability” – Que/Penguin)—recently chatted with John O. McManus, founding principal of McManus & Associates and a top AV-rated tax and estate planning attorney, for her column “Managing Your Fortune.” As part of her regular spot for the Palm Beach Daily News, Liberman’s piece “Need a revocable living trust?” explores the commonly-heard recommendation from financial gurus to implement one of these planning vehicles.
From the column, which also shares the exciting news that McManus & Associates is opening a location in Florida:
John O. McManus, a New York estate planning attorney who is opening an office in Miami, says a revocable living trust avoids headaches for your heirs.
Family disputes over your money, problems with creditors and hassles by financial institutions reluctant to accept a power of attorney are just a few.
A revocable living trust, by avoiding probate, also can protect the privacy of your estate from nosy neighbors or crooks.
In one recent case, McManus notes, a client lost an original will — the only type of will most courts will accept. The already-in-place revocable trust was important in helping convince a judge to go along with the wording contained in the only copy of the will that the heirs were able to produce.
The piece goes on to ask what happens if you fail to title an account in the name of your trust or if, after you die, your estate suddenly inherits a small check, for example. According to Liberman:
Your trustee may need to jump through hoops to get the pesky $50 check back into the revocable living trust. But because fees generally are on a sliding scale, based on the size of the probated estate, McManus says, the added cost should prove minimal.
Head on over to the Palm Beach Daily News to read Liberman’s entire column, which explains that a revocable living trust is not just for saving on estate taxes. To start the process of establishing a revocable living trust of your own, reach out to us at 908-898-0100. McManus & Associates will help make it easy.