A living trust is an important piece of documentation that is needed by anyone who wishes to protect their assets and distribute them precisely. A living trust allows individuals to determine what happens to their finances and property should they become ill or otherwise unable to make decisions on their own behalf. It also acts as a will of sorts, giving ownership of all items to any individuals or entities they desire.
<h3>The Cost of a Living Trust</h3>
There is no one set of figures that explains the cost of a living trust. Varying needs and financial situations require a variety of preparation options. However, there are general dollar amounts that one can assume depending on the type of living trust preparation they prefer.
<h3>Traditional Living Trust</h3>
The standard option for a living trust is placed firmly in the hands of an experienced professional. Lawyers with a thorough knowledge of end-of-life planning are ideal for those with complex finances. These lawyers enter information into the appropriate documents, provide legal and financial advice, and provide future protection should there be an issue with the plan. The more comprehensive the lawyer is, the more expensive the price. Some will charge around $1,000 for a simple plan, but the cost can significantly rise. Most lawyers will be able to provide a rough dollar figure when they are first consulted.
<h3>Do-it-Yourself Living Trust</h3>
Even without legal training, it is possible to prepare a living trust on one’s own. Estate planning documents are available through a variety of sources. Most of these are living trust software programs that are fairly inexpensive. Some can be purchased for under $20. Others can be as much as $200. There are pros and cons to using living trust software, the largest of which is relying upon oneself to not make simple mistakes that only become clear when it is too late. However, the cost is very attractive to those who have few assets but still desire to have a living trust in place.
<h3>Utilizing Paralegal Services</h3>
Paralegals serve as a middle ground for those who do not want to pay legal fees but also do not want to make the plans themselves. However, a paralegal cannot legally provide financial planning advice, though they are more aware of laws pertaining to living trusts than a simple computer program. The cost of a paralegal is generally $500 to $1,000.