Agent

Living trust avoids familial infighting

Don't leave your assets directly to your five children

DEAR BOB: My will provides that my assets, consisting of my primary house, a Florida luxury condo, several rental properties, various bank and stock brokerage accounts, and two automobiles are left to my five living children (one died a few years ago). I recently consulted an attorney about this arrangement. She said it was a very bad idea to have a will leaving my assets equally to five children. Her advice is they will fight over the assets and the probate costs will consume a substantial portion. Instead, she recommends a living trust to avoid probate costs in the three states where I own property and to specify that after I die all my assets be sold with the net proceeds then divided among my living children. Does this make sense to you? – Rick R. DEAR RICK: Yes. Your legal counselor gave you superb legal advice. With five heirs, there will almost certainly be conflicts. Also, probate court proceedings in three states will require hiring costly probate attorneys in those jur...