1. Can individuals write up their own revocable living trust, have it notorized, and have it legally acceptable by the law? Rather than pay several thousand dollars for someone else do it? 2. Can you send me a sample?
You can probably complete your own living trust if you do it right. And, you probably can perform your own root canal if you do it right, but why would you? Why do you want a living trust? How do you know you really need a living trust? While I have one and think they are a great tool, most of the "stuff" lay people hear about living trusts is wrong, misleading, or worse. Do you have a will? A power of attorney? A living will? Most importantly do you have a plan? If not, how and why do you want a living trust? If you really want to go for it, here's what I recommend. Don't spend thousands, but don't be penny wise and pound foolish. If you really think you up for the work, you should by my book, Shenkman "The Complete Living Trust Program" published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Read it to understand what is invovled. Nolo press has a pretty good form book too. You should also print the sample revocable living trust on this web site in the estate planning forms section. When you've read the book and understand what is inovlved (be careful some of the estate tax rules and numbers have changed, but the concepts are still applicable and quite important) make notes on the sample living trust you printed. When you've made all the decisions you can, hire a local estate planning attorney that bills hourly and explain that you've spent the time, made all the personal decisions and want to work as efficiently as possible to keep the cost down. This is likely the best middle path. There is simply no way for a lay person to substitute their reading and judgement for a professional with decades of experience. If you don't believe that, then use the resources above to give it a go. Finally, be REALLY careful of many of the packaged living will programs. There really not great. As a short aside, a newspaper reporter about six months ago prepared her own documents using a well known consumer software program. She asked me to critique the program by reviewing her documents. After about 20 problems/comments (and I don't think I got passed the third or fourth page) she canned the project and gave up on the article. Just keep this in mind if you decide to tough it out on your own.
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