The ad criticizes wills because
- attorneys are needed, well attorneys are needed in the creation an often the administration of trusts;
- expensive probate fees. In Wisconsin, the probate fee is .02 percent, or $2 for every $1,000 in probate assets. Often times the probate fee is less than the cost of creating and funding a trust;
- totally public and court controlled. In some cases, this is advantageous. When a trust is involved, there is no court oversight to ensure that beneficiaries receive the proper distribution -- what if the named trustee opts to not send a check to the non-profit listed -- I've heard of this happening.
- a desire to keep finances private; ideal for blended families or business owners;
- when property is owned in multiple states AND no other non-probate options are available, such as Transfer on Death Deeds; and
- when there is a desire for an asset to be held in trust, managed by a trustee, for a long-term basis (i.e. 5 years or more).
Transforming a probate asset into a non-probate asset can be achieved by multiple instruments, most of which are less expensive than a living revocable trust. Be certain to consider all of your options -- and ask for a cost benefit analysis to ensure that you are in fact saving money if that is your primary goal.