Why is it that the sun shining, as seen out my window in the morning, always seem to cheer me up? Then I walk outside and suddenly remember that it’s February and I quickly return to the warmth of my house. The sun is still shining, and the bright, cloudless sky still invites a smile. There is, however, more to consider than appearances alone.

People go to a seminar and learn that all of their worries about their future estate planning can be cured by investing in this magical thing called a “Living Trust.” There will be no family quarrels, no question about where things or funds are to go. . .it is already neatly wrapped up in a Living Trust. And if it was me at the seminar, enjoying my free meal, it would be called the “Mateya Living Trust.” That has a nice ring to it. And there may even be tax advantages, at least that is the way it was described at the seminar. And the meal they served that night was delicious!

Some of you are laughing at my descriptions, and some of you are looking over at the bookshelf where your large leather binder titled “Living Trust” is sitting.

Trusts are certainly a viable tool in estate planning, but they are not a one-size fits all. There are many things to consider before landing on a trust as the way to move forward. Unfortunately, trusts and wills have been commoditized. You can go to many financial gurus web sites and find a “Last Will & Testament Kit” or a “Living Trust” kit. But be careful, on a few of them you can also find a “How To Whiten Your Teeth” kit, and that person is neither an attorney nor a dentist!

Trusts, like wills, are unique, individualized documents. They require a skilled professional’s assistance. Sadly, with many Living Trusts that have been drafted over the years, the most valuable part of the trust is the leather binder! This is especially true with those that were drafted by a company that came to town, rented a hall, gave a free meal, and then sold a “Trust Package.” These people often use fear to motivate their “clients.”

We draft trusts, but only when the estate plan requires it. Please contact our office at 717-249-6333 to schedule an appointment. We would be glad to speak with you and determine what the best way forward is for you.