Jack Straw* from Wichita thought he had all of his affairs in order – he’d written a will, created a revocable trust, and appointed his wife Shannon as his personal representative and trustee.
When Jack passed away Shannon took on the burdensome task of managing Jack’s Estate. Everything was moving smoothly until she realized that Jack’s Colorado condo was unaccounted for. The ownership of the condo had never been deeded to Jack’s trust. Oops.
Eight months and nearly ten thousand dollars later Shannon finally sold the Colorado property, but it wasn’t easy. This process cost her:
$3,000 – to hire an attorney to undergo probate proceedings in Kansas
$3,000 – to hire a Colorado attorney to undergo probate proceedings in Colorado
$2,000 – to maintain the property during the eight month limbo
$1,000 – in fees associated with title search, drafting and recording personal representative deeds transferring ownership
$500 – court costs
$150 – for certification as personal representative in Colorado
$? – lost profits
Shannon lost several buyers waiting for the court. She spent more than 10% of the value of the property just to undergo probate to get authority to sell the property.
What would it have cost Jack to deed the property to his trust in the first place? About $500. Oops.
Writing a will and setting up a revocable trust is the first step, but it’s important that your trust is fully funded with all of your assets, especially if those assets exist in another state. A trip to the law office on a periodic basis to ensure that ALL of your affairs are in order can save you and your heirs thousands.
*Note: Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality