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    Living Trust Review

    By Donald B. Kobrin

    I probably review more than 50 trusts a year during one of my free consultations with potential clients. While I am an investment advisor and not an attorney, I have 15 years of experience reviewing trusts and I work with attorney affiliates to identify and make recommendations.

    Here are some examples of the issues we frequently have identified:

    1. The assets that should have been funded into the trust were omitted or improperly recorded.
    2. Assets were funded into the trust that should not have been.
    3. The trust was written so that the deceased spouse’s share of the estate was not properly protected after his or her death.
    4. A “disabled” beneficiary was not properly provided for in the trust.
    5. Powers for health care were not included in the trust.
    6. Powers for financial matters were not included in the trust.
    7. Life insurance policies had the trust as owner or as named beneficiary, which in most cases, is not best for the beneficiaries.
    8. Deeds to real estate were never placed back into the trust after paying off a mortgage or refinancing.
    9. Named “successor trustees” were deceased, incapacitated or no longer available to carry out their functions. (It is important to note here that their named successor trustees will probably have to go to work for them many years before the estate is settled. This might make a good case for using a professional fiduciary as a successor trustee rather than a family member or friend.)
    10. The trust has been modified or is no longer valid.

    This is a short list of what 10 to 15 minutes of review might turn up. Take advantage of my free consultations, whether you are an existing client or not. You never know what I might discover about your trust.

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