Living trust vs will
We are looking for some help in figuring out if we need a living trust. We are both in our mid 40's and the kids are between the ages of 14 and 8. Most of our assets (total about $2 MM) are with Vanguard in retirement and non retirement accounts. We have a house with a mortgage and about $400k in equity. All the assets are jointly held and we have primary and secondary beneficieries named on the investments, life insurance, and the emergency bank account.
We also have a will. Our desire is that if both of us pass away, all the assets be equally divided among the kids but they get the money only at reaching the age of 25. We have stated in the will that a trust be setup with named relatives as trustees. One of our friends suggezted that the will is not sufficient and we need to setup a living trust and not rely on creating a trust after the fact. They said that it helps avoid probate and it also has tax benefits. Is there a downside to setting up a living trust? It seems like an expensive proposition and I am not sure of the value. All comments would be most welcome.
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