Thumbs Down: Zap These Trusts

Physician's Money Digest, May 15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 9

Living trusts may have a place inyour estate planning. But thesetup costs, which can run as much as$2000 or more, may make creating atrust cost-prohibitive. The main advantageof such a trust is that assetsheld in the trust do not go throughprobate, saving your heirs money andtime. Probate costs differ widely fromstate to state, so make sure you knowjust how much cash a living trust islikely to save. Don't fall for any livingtrust pitches that offer free seminarsor cut-rate services. Many such bogusestate planners only want to sell youcostly, commission-rich annuities thatare not only expensive, but also comewith steep surrender fees that makethem unsuitable investments forthose who are middle-aged or older.For access to reputable trust andestate planning professionals, contactthe National Association of EstatePlanners and Councils (866-226-2224;www.naepc.org).