Can I Create A Living Trust Myself?

Can’t I Just Do My Own Trust Online? Do I have to Pay an Attorney?

Nearly every time I’ve advised a client to go get a trsut, I get those questions.

Here’s my answer – No.

I mean, technically, you can go online and get the documents you will need to create a living trust.  And technically, you can go online and get all the information you’d need to build a rocket, too.

Is a living trust as complicated as a rocket? No.  But let’s face it, yesterday, you probably need one. Now you want to become a lawyer and create one?  Let’s be honest, that’s not going to turn out very well.

In fact, a few months ago, I tried it. I tried it because so many people ask me if they can do it themselves, I wanted to see how hard it was. I spent $50 at Nolo Press for their “Trust Kit” for California.  I spent several hours on creating my own living trust.  And then I showed it to our friends I told you about last week at Eberts & Brockway

“You did this?” Adam asked.  “Keep your day job! I guess it is better than no trust at all.  But boy, you’ve made a real mess! Did you realize you set up the kids to get into a battle with Sarah?  Did you realize you don’t make any mention of your former wife and how much she gets?”

“Right” Adam said with a smirk. “Well, why didn’t you state any of that then?”  That’s when we began the process of using their law firm for our trust.

So, the moral to this story – pay an attorney for your living trust. We can refer you to one of several.  It might be tempting to skip the $1,500 to $2,000 fee.  But it is jumping over a dollar to pick up a penny.  No one likes to pay that sort of money for a binder full of pages that help other people once they are dead. I get that. But you aren’t helping anyone by doing it by yourself.