"I Own Property In Three States? Will My Kids Have To Go Through Probate in Three States?"

I was talking to a couple last evening. They were engaging me to start the process of creating an estate planning legal program to keep what they had in their family the right way. They said they came to me because they had seen other families make mistakes and they wanted to get it right the first time.

They said they were impressed with my 26 years of estate planning legal experience, they found my book easy to read and understand, and they liked that I was certified as a Specialist in Estate Planning and Administration by the Louisiana State Bar Association.

The wife told me that she and her husband owned real estate in three different states: Louisiana, Alabama, and Colorado. They had a couple of unique circumstances in their family. They had a child that could not handle money or property prudently, and one of their children was the victim of a very bad marriage and they wanted to make sure the ex-spouse would never be involved - especially if their child predeceased them and things went to their minor grandchildren.

When I let them know that their family would need to go through three different probate proceedings in three different states - if they kept all of their property in their name - they seemed to get a little unsetlled. their main goal was to make settling their estate as simple as possible for the surviving spouse and the children.

So they are moving fairly quickly to establish an estate planning legal program so that all of their property and probate assets will be transferred to their revocable living trust. The trust will provide what happens to the property when they die: who will be in charge and when the children get it.

Now they will have a program in place that will avoid the family having to retain multiple law firms in multiple states at a considerable expense when they die. They said that even though their estate plan is not in place yet, they already have peace of mind knowing that they are doing what they need to do to protect their estate for their family - the right way.