“Free Seminar on How to Prepare Your Own Trust … Our Fees are the Lowest in Town!” Sound familiar? You’ve just encountered a Trust Mill. A Trust Mill puts out advertisements like these to get people to attend their seminars and use their services. But what is it they are selling? The products of a Trust Mill are usually the basics of a Trust generated by “fill-in the blank” or “check the box” type of forms. You may say, “Well, all I need is the basics, a good start and foundation.” Well, a start you will have, a foundation you may not. What is missing from theses documents? Its simple: the ability to tailor your Trust to your personal needs based on your family dynamics. Is there a child who needs special care? Are you supporting a parent? Is there a child who would benefit from receiving the family residence? Is there a non-profit organization that you would benefit as part of a final distribution of your assets? Time with an individual experienced attorney, who listens to your concerns, can tailor your Trust to none other than you.
The purpose of a trust is to distribute your property exactly as you intend. Often, when people have used Trust Mills to create their Trust, we hear over and over again from their children, “This is not what my parents would have wanted.” Maybe you missed a blank on the do-it yourself form? Did you check the wrong box? Your family will end up attempting to re-interpret your wishes because of a box that was not checked off or a blank that was not filled in. Families spend considerable amounts of time and money resolving the issues that should have been clearly outlined in the trust at its creation. Yes, the “deal” from the Trust Mill may save a few dollars up-front, but on the back end the “deal” causes more anguish, money and time in attempting to unravel what the settler’s true wishes were for the distribution of their assets.