What is a Cabin Trust?
A Cabin Trust is actually a hybrid of the traditional trusts described below and a limited liability company. It is uniquely drafted to accomplish 8 primary objectives:
- Limit Personal Liability,
- Avoid Probate,
- Minimize Family Disputes,
- Protect Property from Problems an Heir Might Have,
- Limit Tax Increases,
- Limit Nursing Home Cost Exposure,
- Save Money, and
- Create a Family Legacy.
How much does a Cabin Trust cost?
Most Cabin Trusts that we prepare cost $1500. This includes the consultations with the attorney and the drafting and execution of all the necessary documents. There is a $50 filing fee with the State of Michigan, and a $17 fee to record your deed. That is it. Several generations of protection for about the cost of 1 year’s homeowners insurance.
In less than 10% of the cases we handle, we do reserve the right to charge more if there are special circumstances. This would be clearly explained after the first appointment (for which there is no charge) and you would then decide before any documents are drafted.
How long does it take to complete a Cabin Trust?
We complete most Cabin Trusts in 2 appointments that are typically scheduled 1 week apart. Some clients would like to have their children present at one of the meetings, and this can be arranged.
Additionally, we can accomplish the entire process through telephone consultations and mail.
If I have a Living Trust, do I still need a Cabin Trust?
Yes - particularly if your intent is to keep your recreational property in your family beyond the time of your death. A living trust is a terrific way to avoid probate. However, most trusts are settled in the months after the trust maker’s death. A Cabin Trust can last multiple generations. Likewise, a living trust affords no liability or nursing home protection -- or protection for a child who has problems of their own. A Cabin Trust addresses these needs, and thus together with a living trust, makes your estate plan more powerful.
What if several people already own our cabin?
Then a Cabin Trust works just as well -- before there are conflicts. We often create a Cabin Trust for co-owners whether they are related or not. Sometimes it is a group of friends who decide to purchase a hunting cabin together.
The Cabin Trust protects each member from liability and the problems of one owner. Plus, they can keep the property in the managed care of their children and grandchildren - if they so choose.
Who has to sign the Cabin Trust?
Any person whose name is currently on the deed must sign the documents creating the Cabin Trust. Some families want some or all of the children or grandchildren involved in the creation of the trust. This can be accommodated.
What type of Trust is a Cabin Trust?
A Cabin Trust is a hybrid of four different estate planning tools: a revocable living trust, a legacy trust, an asset protection trust and a limited liability liability company. It has elements of all four -- but is uniquely designed to deal with the problems and issues specific to Michigan cabins and cottages.
Can’t my attorney draft my Cabin Trust for me?
Probably not. Most attorneys don’t specialize in estate planning and tax law. The O’Bryan Law Firm does. Further, after several years of research, development and the preparation of documents for so many families, the O’Bryan Law Firm has established a copyright on our Cabin Trusts. In fact the term Cabin Trust is registered trademark owned by the O’Bryan Law Firm, PLC with both the State of Michigan and the US Patent and Trademark office.
What if I don’t plan to leave my cabin to my children?
You can still benefit from a Cabin Trust by protecting yourself from lawsuits, and sheltering your Up North property from nursing home costs. Further, if you later decide to leave the cabin to your children, they can then have the choice to use the Cabin Trust.
What if decide to change our Cabin Trust?
For fifteen years, the O’Bryan Law Firm has maintained the policy that we will not charge for minor trust updates. We want the estate plan you complete through our office to be current and effective when the time comes for your family to utilize it.
Explain the process of getting a Cabin Trust?
First, you call and schedule a no cost appointment. We will mail you a packet with a short set of forms to get you started. You meet with Attorney O’Bryan for a consultation which usually lasts about an hour. Next, we draft your documents, which are ready to be reviewed and signed at the second appointment. This is when you pay any fees owed. That is it. The final documents can be picked up or mailed to you.
So, what is my next step?
Call and schedule an appointment. This is a decision that can create a legacy that can last many lifetimes... all it takes is some action on your part now.