At ND Estate Services, we provide essential, vital, and comprehensive estate planning services for our clients across ND, SD, and MN. I am not an attorney, and I do not pretend to be one. I am an Estate Planner that is a specialist in estate planning with the use of Revocable Living Trusts as an estate planning tool for their estate.  My experience is quite extensive. I’ve completed anywhere from 600-800 trust funding reviews in the past 4-5 years and that is conservative. Every year that number keeps growing. If you have legal questions regarding your estate or legal documents regarding your estate during our consultation, we can always reach out to an attorney at any time to help get your questions answered. If you don’t have an attorney, we can reach out to the ones I use. The information contained in my site is not legal advice.  It is solely meant to be educational.  That being said, there are so many good people who need help and don’t know where to turn. When you don’t understand this process of what happens to your estate after you die, what do you do?? Absolutely Nothing! That’s exactly what the system is actually counting on! After all, there are municipalities, county courthouses, judges, probate attorneys, bailiffs and many more people involved and guess what they all have in common?!? You got it! They all need to get paid! The question is… are you going to let your estate be used as a funding tool their salaries, benefits and retirement plans instead of your family?? Unfortunately, as many as 90% of the people who are reading this are going to let their estate be a funding vehicle for those  people instead of their family. HOW SAD! The question is… is that going to be you?

S0, let’s not fool ourselves here, what’s this all about anyway?!? This is about money! Let me ask you? Exactly how much money is it going to cost your family when you die? A common percentage is anywhere between 2-7% of your estate value; which could equal $20,000 and $70,000.00 per million. Maybe a better question to ask is “How much of your estate did you want your family to keep?” Do you want an uncontest-settlement? Keeping assets in the family? Out of the public eye? Without the intervention of probate attorneys and judges?  It’s my goal here to show you how I can bring your family value, saving you as much as 50% on the entire cost of setting up an estate plan which includes annual funding reviews. How can I do this? The attorneys take care of the legal work, and I take care of the nonlegal work. The attorneys I work with have agreed to work with my clients at a set rate in preparing all their legal documents. About 80% of all the attorney’s work is administrative and nonlegal. However, an attorney will bill you at the same rate for the nonlegal administrative work and the legal work. I do all the funding, retitling work, annual funding reviews and death settlement assistance for your family, all the non-legal, administrative. I meet with you and your family annually for your annual funding review. There is no additional fee for this vital service.  If there are any changes to your estate plan, that need to be made, I help you get these changes sent to the attorney.

We do use local estate and trust attorneys that we refer our clients to, to help put their plan in place. People just don’t know where to turn for honest, straight-up pricing and services of what they desperately need in today’s lawsuit-heavy environment. This is so relevant today in regards to your estate because of all the financial landmines families are unknowingly subjecting their family too. Do you know when it’s the best time for in-laws, out-laws, attorneys and nursing homes to take your assets from you and your family? It’s when you’re dead!! Let me ask you?… Have you ever heard a dead person complain? If they did, what do you think they would say? This is so unnecessary if we simply follow my iron-clad approach of “Protect, Preserve, Pass-on”.

If services are needed, together, we’ll fill out an information packet for the attorney so he can make the appropriate recommendations to assist you. If a Revocable Living Trust is what is recommended these are the list of documents he will prepare for you: Revocable Living Trust, Pour-Over Will, POA (Power of Attorney), HCD (Health Care Directive), FPOA (Financial Power of Attorney) and Nomination of Guardian. A side note here…You do not have to use the attorneys I work with. You can use your own. Once completed, the rough draft of your documents will be sent to you to be proofed. If no corrections are needed, it only takes about 3-4 weeks to receive these necessary documents back from the attorney. I will come out to see you personally to complete all the necessary notary work and start the initial funding process of retitling your assets into the name of your trust. The term “Funding” simply refers to your assets being “re-titled” out of your personal name and into the name of your trust. If your assets are re-titled in the name of your trust, the state has no assets to probate because nothing is in your name.  You and your spouse retain control of your assets as trustors/grantors and the first trustees of your estate. I give very special attention to this vital part of your trust; because, 1) it can be a bit confusing and, 2) it is important to get it completed and re-titled correctly the first time. Why is the funding process so vitally important? If your assets are not “funded” in your trust, your trust isn’t being used the way it is intended. Then, why go through the trouble of setting it up if you’re not going to utilize it?

A Revocable Trust will not protect your estate from creditors including the nursing home. So if you have financial assets, they need to be funded into your trust in such a way that, 1) they are there for you if you need to have access to them, 2) protect your estate 3) they will pass in a tax-favored status.  After all the initial funding has been completed and your estate plan has been executed, in three months there will be a thorough and comprehensive “funding review”. After that, you’ll have annual reviews.

Next Steps…

Let me ask you? How much of your estate did you want your family to keep?

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