INTRODUCTION

Did you know that according to a USA Today article, over 60% of people pass away with no living trust in place (Reeves, Jeff. USA Today, July 11, 2015)? That is an incredibly high number of people who didn’t bother to take the time to prepare their heirs before their passing. If people only knew the mental and financial impact of not having a living trust has on those left behind, I believe they would reconsider and provide a “roadmap,” so to speak, for their heirs to easily obtain the family treasure.

One of the things that I’ve observed in my many years of working as a successful mortgage agent, along with years of being a real estate agent, is that most of us trust authority. That is, we automatically and unquestioningly take the word of or follow the advice of a lawyer, a dentist, and even a doctor without confirming from another source. I have observed this commonality countless times, and it is not always a good thing.

Once upon a time, I was just like you. I was bamboozled many times by my own naiveté, and by our cultural traditions that say we should trust people in authority, no matter what they tell us, and without doing our own research or asking someone else what they think; we just believe them. I was living in that fantasy world of just going with the flow and allowing “authority figures” to lead me down a path that benefitted only them and rarely me. I was living that way until I became a probate real estate agent, and got to see the legal world from an entirely new and refreshing point of view. I could see how believing in that sense of authority hinders people from getting all that they possibly could get from their parents’ or relative’s estate once they pass on. Once I started selling probate properties, I began to see things very clearly.

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