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Living trust - Online template (MetLife) vs Attorney

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  • Living trust - Online template (MetLife) vs Attorney

    Hi everyone. I am trying to decide on whether I should go with online template from MetLife or hire an attorney for Living trust. I am 35 yo with family of 4, routine stuff, no complexities (that is what I think). Wonder what additional advantage an attorney would bring. Thinking frugal - do not want to give away $4k for something which wont bring value.

  • #2
    To your question, the DIY documents are legal. I’d recommend one of the reputable ones like Nolo Willmaker (does trusts too). But there are a lot of other factors. For example, my wife simply would not trust an online RLT, no pun intended. Also, and no offense meant, if you have to ask are you really comfortable doing this yourself? Why do you want one? Speaking with a good attorney could help you think through the actual value proposition. Living trusts are often put forward as a way to avoid probate, but this won’t help for example if you want to create a trust in the estate to guard your kids’ assets. Finally, the RLT does you no good if you don’t fund it.

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    • #3
      Thanks much for your response. I’ll consult an attorney and go from there.

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      • #4
        Why are you creating one? Not necessarily the best idea in a lot of situations but a lot of attorneys tend to default to thinking everyone should have one.
        Financial planning, investment management and CPA services for medical and high-income professionals | 270-247-6087

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        • #5
          Creating one because of herd mentality. That is exactly the reason I wonder if I am ok with online template. I might be wrong but I am not sure why do I need an attorney for generating a straightforward document.

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          • #6
            Herd mentality is not a good reason. Are the probate laws in your state fairly complex and is probate expensive? That's one of the best reasons to create an RLT. I wouldn't recommend DIY on something you're not very sure about. But, if you're h3ll-bound to do it, then I believe you should consult with an attorney first.
            Financial planning, investment management and CPA services for medical and high-income professionals | 270-247-6087

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            • #7
              I often set up revocable trusts for people for various reasons, but sometimes they opt for a testamentary trust because that seems simpler to them and still satisfies their goals. However, sometimes a Will will do. I always recommend a trust for people with small children to avoid the kids getting the life insurance money prematurely. You can get a basic setup for $1,000 to $2,000 generally. The problem with the DIY package is there are plenty of ways to mess up; unfortunately the law is just very complex and doesn't lend itself to DIY'ers getting their important needs properly satisfied.

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