A polite couple came in my office yesterday with their son. Their financial advisor had me speak at a presentation he put together for his clients. The wife walked in my office with a stack of nationally publicized books (including my book) on estate planning and living trusts. She also mentioned that she watched the Suze Ormon show every Saturday night - and she said Suze was high on trusts. By the way, she said my book was much easier to read and understand than the other books she plopped down on my conference room table.
She emphasized she wanted to avoid probate. She also wanted her children - some who lived out of state - to inherit quickly and easily - and she wanted to make sure that the inheritance process would not adversely affect the children's relationships with each other.
She was worried that setting all of it up would be difficult. But after we talked about it she realized how easy it would be to avoid probate. We discussed how all of her life insurance, IRAs, and annuities would pass to her beneficiaries outside of probate - those assets avoid probate by their very nature.
They did, however, own some real estate, and they owned some investments that were not in their retirement accounts. When they realized that only a portion of their assets would need to be re-titled in order to avoid probate, they were relieved at how simple this whole process can be - not only for themselves but for their children as well.