Who Needs An Estate Plan?
If you own a home, have kids, want your kids to be taken care of, or just want a bit more peace of mind, get an estate plan today!
Probate is a process every state has that validates Wills when someone passes away. Probate is expensive and scary for some—and for good reason. Knowing that your family members have to go through this sometimes expensive and lengthy process might make passing away more scary than in needs to be. Having a fully funded Trust allows you and your loved ones to stay out of the court system and mourn smoother than without a fully funded Trust.
If you own a home (a.k.a. real estate), your estate automatically goes through probate without a fully funded trust. If you only have a Will, your estate automatically goes through probate as well.
Concerned about your children or heirs receiving a lump sum of money after you pass away? A fully funded trust gives you the power to choose when, how, and how much your heirs receive. An added bonus: creditors aren’t allowed to reach your heirs’ inheritance share if you draft your trust just right.
Our estate planning packages include a Financial Power of Attorney and a Healthcare Directive. If you want to choose a list of loved ones to take care of your financial matters and make healthcare decisions in the event of your incapacitation, you need an estate plan.
Planning for Estate Taxes
If you want to avoid that pesky estate tax, estate planning can take care of it! Although the threshold is currently about $11 million per person, your wealth may change or the threshold could decrease.
Fully Funded—What Does That Mean?
A trust is useless if all of your assets lack the proper title. For example, having a well-drafted and strong trust document won’t do any good for your property if the deed to your house isn’t put into your trust name. Bank accounts, life insurance policies, stock, business interest, and sometimes IRAs are put into trusts. If any of your assets are missing, it’s not fully funded. A firm like ours includes funding trusts as part of our full estate planning packages.
So whichever motive resonates the most with you, meet with one of our attorneys and get your estate in order today!
Estate Planning That Everyone Needs
Everyone needs some sort of estate planning, regardless of the above reasons. Here are some estate planning documents that everyone needs:
Revocable Trust (Joint or Separate). This type of trust holds primary assets like a residence, bank or investment accounts, life insurance, and other assets so that after your death, successor trustees can ensure that all assets are responsibly administered for your beneficiaries. An added bonus: this type of planning avoids the need for complex probate after your death. You and your spouse, if applicable, are the trustees of this trust during your lifetimes and you can choose reliable people to be successor trustees once you pass away.
Pour-over Will. A will is a good option, but a pour-over will allows any assets that were not already in your trust to be poured into the trust upon your death. Your will also identifies the guardians to any minor children.
Durable Financial Power of Attorney. This document grants authority to a trusted person (usually a spouse or a parent) to sign documents on your behalf for assets not in the trust such as cars, checking accounts, tax returns, etc.
- Health Care Directive. This document grants authority to a trusted person to make medical decisions for you if you cannot for yourself. The possibility of a coma or incapacitation applies to everyone. You indicate your wishes for end of life care (e.g. wishes for life support or resuscitation).
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