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Summer is Here...

April 21st, 2009 at 08:44 am

Blech.

The weather is atrocious. Though I hear it is even worse in So Cal.

Today is s'posed to be something like 95 and then it will cool down.

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I finally saw the final sales price on our latest foreclosure. It was priced low and sold in a flash. & it was bid up. To $226k. We are back to the prices when we moved in. 2001. But I think the whole selling in a flash and being bid up thing is a good sign. Prices are still falling, but priced right we could sell our house in just days (for more than we paid even).

All that being said, as prices inch down you can't help but wonder how low they will go.

I read median price in region fell to $160k. I know the locals think the median price will fall to $100k but I think honestly they are crazy. I think it is possible it may bottom out there for a short time, but I don't think $100k home prices will become the norm.

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I read an interesting article the other day that living trusts are imperative if you live in California, but not really necessary in places like Texas. Basically, it depends where you live. Article writer recommended just about everyone in California have a living tust (excepting young and single with no assets, etc., where it makes little sense).

My personal experience, in California, is that probate is a complete nightmare. IT is expensive. & it is time consuming. For our clients with trusts it is easy as a breeze, and for those without living trusts, even just following out the wishes of a will, can take years. Even for those with little in assets, it can be quite costly. & the truth is the lawyers do get paid more if you don't have a living trust.

So I cringe when I come across well meaning frugalites who wouldn't touch a living trust with a 10-foot pole. Talk about penny wise and pound foolish. So I shared this for that reason. To the rest of you, maybe you are right. But if you live in California, it's a good thing to have. I always tell people the expense is more often emotional than anything else. Most of our clients are dealing with the death of their parents. Having to deal with the courts and probate and everything is emotionally exhausting. HAving a living trust greatly simplifies things. I think that is the best part about it. There is definitely money saved, but that is honestly just a small piece of it. It seems like every year I have someone sitting across from me telling me the nightmares of California probate. I haven't been through probate personally, but I have heard enough to know it is something to avoid. I am also relieved our parents have living trusts because we have been appointed as their trustees.

No one executing a living trust has sat across from me, poured out their heart and cried during their entire appointment. That's all I know! IT seems with a trust it is easier to get on with your life. But, my only caveat is if you have someone you can trust. Probate is good if you have quibbling beneficiaries. Everything goes through the court process and I see how that could be better than a trustee who may not follow your wishes. IT does happen.

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