Probate can be a somewhat costly adventure for the estate as an attorney is generally hired to help the executor through the process. The legal costs may range from 2-4% of the value of the probate estate. The probate estate consists of the value of all the assets owned in an individual’s own name as of the date of death. For this and many other reasons, families generally desire to avoid probate and the best way to accomplish this is for individuals to simply die not owning assets in their own name.
Often times, the Donor would like to serve as trustee of the trust thereby significantly increasing the Donor’s control over the operation of the trust assets during the Donor’s life. There is support for this position in Massachusetts where there is a case entitled Ledger vs. Department of Medical Assistance in which the Court indicated that, while this may appear to be an unappetizing maneuver, it nonetheless fails to contravene any rule or regulation.