CEO Letter

Transfer Assets 

Can my father's Trust protect my assets?

September, 2011

demoQ - I am working on my father's trust and started transferring his assets as required.  I like the protection that's provided by his Trust, can I use his trust to protect my assets?  A - Once you have completed all the elements of the trust, including the transfer of assets, the trust is considered finished.  And no, unfortunately you cannot use your father's trust for your assets, but if your father's Trust was completed by us, you are eligible for our preferred client pricing, call us to find out more.  

Current News:

HIPAA Compliance

April 2003

demoThe Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provides protection for release of individually identifiable health information and special release and consent authority to all healthcare providers before medical information can be released.  HIPAA effects documents executed in a trust, as such, it is not grandfathered in which means that it can render executed documents of previous executed Living Trust useless.  Ensure your Living Trust is in compliance with these regulation.  All IntegriTas Living Trust are in compliance with the order. 


Who Contacts  the Survivors? 

December, 2011

demoQ - My father died and I believe he had a trust.  Does the attorney contact me to discuss my dad's last requests?  I don't have the attorney's information and how does the attorney know that he is deceased?  A - Unless the attorney was a friend or the Trustee for your dad, its unlikely he would know that your father passed.  So first, you need to start checking around the house for the trust manual.  Did your dad have a safety-deposit box? Once you have located the manual, you can determine who is the Successor Trustee and who will carry out the provisions of your dad's trust.  If someone else has been named Successor Trustee, you will need to get in contact with that person to ensure they carry out the orders of the trust.


Letter from the Chief Executor Officer

Avoiding Probate

pictureThe purpose of Probate is to transfer title to all of your assets into the name of your heirs and make sure that all other legal claims against your Estate are considered and paid. Each state sets a minimum asset level, below which there is no Probate, but this level is so low in most states that virtually anyone who owns their home is assured of going through the Probate process. Owning $10,000 worth of real estate in California and Tennessee throws you into the Probate process, and most states have similar laws. Furthermore, the Probate process must remain open for a minimum of 6 months and can run as long as 3 years. Many contested estates have remained in Probate for decades while Probate expenses reduced fortunes to a pittance. The only people who won in those cases were the Probate attorneys who were being paid from the estate assets.

Even though there is no acceptable way to avoid Probate, except through the use of a Living Trust, people commonly relate stories about friends and relatives who have managed to avoid Probate. Such occurrences are almost always false or the situation misunderstood. The Probate process can be delayed after death, but it cannot be avoided entirely. A deceased person cannot sign off on an asset they once owned. When that asset is sold, and that could be years later, it will take the Probate process to remove the deceased's signature and ownership interest from the asset. That's when exorbitant legal fees will be encountered, since it is very hard to go through Probate without the assistance of an attorney. Many attorneys will advise people that they don't need a Living Trust using the estate tax exemption as a justification for this advice. They have not taken into consideration “Joint Tenancy” or relatives, creditors and friends who may contest a Will. Unfortunately, such advice can cost you thousands in probate and you should consider an IntegriTas Revocable Living Trust.

As one attorney stated, "The legal cost of Probate expands to consume the money available." Although this was most certainly said with tongue in cheek, the remark was intended to encourage the legal profession to reform a system that has become shamefully excessive. Some states have statutorily set limits to what fees can be charged, and other states leave this task to self-regulation within the legal profession.

Additional fees are often requested by attorneys and allowed by the court. Overall, it is not unusual to see total Probate fees fluctuate between 8% and 15% of the gross market value of all assets in the Estate. Yes, I said GROSS! Probate does not take debt into consideration when it calculates its fees. For example: You can own a $200,000 home and owe a mortgage of $150,000, holding $50,000 in equity.

Probate will assess fees based on the entire $200,000, or a likely Probate fee of $20,000 to $30,000. And once you are into the Probate process there is no turning back.

It must run its course, and while it is grinding on, the heirs have absolutely no access to the assets, (frozen) or property in the estate, except through the rare compassion of the Probate court. If you own property in more than one state, you must go through Probate in all states where you own property.

The good news is, Probate is completely unnecessary! That's right! A properly designed and funded Living Trust will completely avoid the costs and delays created by Probate. This allows the successor trustees and heirs to settle the entire estate in a matter of weeks. It's that easy. I heard an experienced estate-planning attorney say that attorneys who draw Wills for clients, and knowingly subject them to Probate, should be sued for malpractice.

Probate causes stress, financial delays for spouses and loved ones who deserve a full inheritance left by you. Do not procrastinate and allow your loved ones to become a probate statistic losing property or funds you intended as an inheritance.

IntegriTas Trust and Estate Planning Services is Your Answer.

IntegriTas Estate Services, LLC designs, and properly funds trusts for individuals like you. We are one of the few companies that provide documents allowing for proper funding of your trust. We will be happy to sit down with you and your spouse, in a private consultation, and discuss preplanning. It is necessary, simple, and requires very little of your time. Your spouse and loved ones will thank you.


Rick R. Hollis,


Toll Free: 866.659.6203
Office: 405.602.2700
Fax: 405.602.2858