LivingTrusts, 3rd Edition
The main advantage of a revocableliving trust is that assets in thetrust go directly to your heirs withoutgoing throughprobate. Whetherthat's worth theexpense of settingup a trust,which can run$3000 or more,may depend onwhere you live. Ifyou have a $1-million estate, it willcost $46,000 and up to get it throughprobate in California, which makespaying a lawyer a few thousand dollarsto set up a trust a slam-dunkdecision. In other states, however, theprocess is much cheaper, so it pays toknow the probate procedures in yourstate. A simple living trust doesnot reduce estate taxes or protect youfrom creditors and successful litigants;beware of anyone who tellsyou differently. For a comprehensiveguide to designing, funding, andmanaging a revocable living trust,pick up the newly updated (John Wiley &Sons; 2003) by Doug H. Moy.