The benefits of planning your estate outweigh the costs. Take charge of your financial life, as well as the financial future of your family by working with our firm today.
Benefits Of Having A Planned Estate
Having an estate plan in place is extremely important. With the proper combination of documents, including a will, trust, and other items, you can ensure:
Your estate will NOT go through probate, which could cost thousands of dollars and take years.
Your assets are distributed to whom you wish and under what circumstances.
You have control of your health care decisions in the event you become incapacitated.
Your minor children are cared for by the persons you choose.
You can actually maintain control of your assets while you’re alive.
You can help your family avoid paying high taxes on your estate.
Most Common Elements Of Your Estate Plan
It is critical that your estate plan has the following parts:
Certificate of Trust
Personal Property Assignment to Trust
Advanced Health Care Directives and HIPAA release
Durable Powers of Attorney
Forgetting any of these parts will make your estate plan less complete and more susceptible to your assets not being protected in the way you originally intended.
Frequently Asked Estate Planning Questions
Below you’ll find some of the most common questions regarding your estate and the planning process:
What Makes Up My Estate?
Your estate will include any assets that you possess at the time of your death and can include any of the following: real estate properties, securities, personal property, cash on hand, bank accounts, retirement accounts and IRAs, death benefits from life insurance, and any interest you may have in businesses.
Who Needs Estate Planning?
If you work your entire life making sound financial decisions, then you’ll want to make sure this continues well after your death. There are plenty of reasons for wanting to establish a trust, but most often it’s for one of the following:
Have a high tax estate and want to minimize taxes.
Need to distribute money to heirs who need financial assistance.
People who want their assets distributed to their liking.
What Is A Trust?
A trust states exactly how you want your assets to be distributed upon your death. It will also name a person, or an institution who will manage and disperse your assets, so your descendants are properly cared for.
What Is A Revocable Living Trust?
A revocable living trust is similar to the trust above, however it can be managed and changed during your lifetime. Establishing a trust means that you register your assets to the trust, and the trust actually becomes the owner of the assets, while you still remain in control.
Once you pass the assets in your trust avoid probate.
How Do I Know My Estate Plan Will Work?
Too often most estate plans don’t work. It’s usually due to inadequate documentation, asset titling, family dynamics, or failing to update certain designations.
The only true way to ensure your estate plan will work is by having the following areas covered:
Ability to control your assets when you’re alive and healthy.
Asset control if you’re mentally disabled.
Control of where your assets go after you pass away.
Why Do I Need To Hire An Attorney When Planning My Estate?
One missing signature, or one wrong word can change your entire will or trust. When working with an attorney they’ll ensure nothing gets overlooked. Wills and trusts are dependent upon state law, and the attorney you work with will be well versed in the law.
If you have a complex family or business situation, then an estate lawyer can help sort through the complexities and produce a workable estate plan.
If you think you’re going to save money by filling out a few forms or checkboxes online, then think again. Your family will have to spend thousands getting everything in order after you pass anyways.