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Trusts and Estate Planning

There are many misconceptions around what trusts are and who they are designed to benefit. A person doesn’t need to have heaps of money and properties in order to create a trust and begin estate planning. In fact, even though estate planning is for everyone, far too many people neglect to ever do so and ultimately leave their family to pick up the pieces after they’re gone. Continue to read along to learn more about how these processes work, who’s involved, and what the benefits are.

What Does It All Mean?

The concept of a trust is actually quite simple. Trusts are legally binding arrangements in which one party holds property on behalf of another. An estate refers to everything a person owns, including their vehicles, properties, life insurance, personal possessions and any other assets they may have. Therefore estate planning is the proactive process of distributing ones wealth before they pass away or become incapacitated.

Who Does It Involve?

These arrangements are most typically made within families in order to grant another person the authority to manage the estate described in the trust. The person creating the trust is called the settlor or trustor, and the recipient is referred to as the trustee. Lawyers are typically involved in this process as well as to ensure every detail is properly addressed and legally stands.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages?

There are far many more advantages to curating a trust and beginning the estate planning process than there are disadvantages. Mainly, it allows many of the legal processes to move more quickly. Additionally, a trust is effective immediately, can offer tax minimization perks, and allows for underage beneficiaries. The noteworthy disadvantages of trusts are the preparation costs and the amount of time it can take to retitle your assets.

Conclusion

Everyone needs a will and trust. Without one, your loved ones are at the mercy of the Government who will run up your estate charges with no concern over taxes. Contact us today to receive a free consultation on your trust and estate planning needs!

What Living Trusts and Wills Cannot Do

Both living trusts and wills allow you to name beneficiaries for your property. Beyond that, they are useful for different purposes; one can help you avoid probate, while the other can name guardians for your children. But do you know what living trusts and wills don’t cover? In this blog, we break down what these legal documents cannot do!

Reduce Estate Taxes

Neither wills nor living trusts can help you reduce estate tax (but most estates will not owe estate tax). If you believe your property might be liable for estate taxes, we recommend meeting with a professional lawyer, where you can discuss more information in detail. There are many different ways you can skip out on estate tax, which includes being eligible for marital deductions, personal estate tax exemption, charitable deduction, and other legal routes, but neither a will nor trust can help you there.

Leave Money to Pets

Pets cannot own property, so you cannot leave property or money to your pets, as it will end up in your residuary estate (which means it will be divided along with your primary estate). Since pets are not legally allowed to own property or money, the best you can do is leave your pet to someone you know, whether that be in your will or living trust. You can also sign up with an organization to have your pet find a new home when you can no longer care for them.

Leave Final Wishes

Although you’re allowed to leave funeral instructions and final wishes in your will (never in a living trust), it’s better to leave them in a separate document. A will is not a good place to express your death and burial preferences for one reason: your will might not be located and read until several weeks after passing away – long after decisions must be made. Instead, you can write a simple letter to your executor and other loved ones to explain the details of your final arrangements.

Conclusion

We mentioned just a few limitations of trusts and wills in this blog, but do you know the full extent of what each legal document can or cannot do for you? For more information, contact the team at Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates. We are a professional, legal practice that can assist you with your trusts and wills. Call us today!

Why Should You Start a Trust?

While death isn’t fun to think about, it is still important to plan for those around you after you pass on. Starting a living trust is a great idea to protect your assets and property. A common debate is whether you should start a will or a trust. Today, we are going to discuss the benefits of starting a trust rather than a will.

 

Two Types of Trusts

First, there are two kinds of trusts. A revocable trust (also called a living trust) allows your assets to avoid probate after you pass, while allowing you control over these assets while you are alive. This trust offers flexibility, so you have the option to get rid of it at any time. It is not set in stone.

An irrevocable trust is more permanent and doesn’t allow you access to your assets while you are alive. It cannot be dissolved or altered until after you die. However, this makes your assets able to pass by probate and reduce the amount of estate taxes. Also, if your trust assets generate income, you are not subject to tax liability.Trust Fund

 

The Benefits of a Trust

Now that you know about the two types of trusts, let’s look at the benefits of having a trust. Trusts allow you to specify each and every term, so you can limit what distributions may be made and to whom. If you have a revocable trust, you still have access to your assets during your lifetime, so you have control in that aspect, too. Then, the remaining assets will be distributed accordingly after you pass on.

Trusts help your assets and estate avoid probate, meaning that it can be directly distributed after you pass without any taxes, fees or the hindrance from the court. Probate is public record, so a trust allows your assets to stay private. In addition, trusts protect your wealth and estate from creditors or beneficiaries who are not good at managing money or assets.

Revocable trusts allow you to name your family members or other trusted individuals to have authority over your assets if you somehow become unable to manage your estate – wills do not let you do this.

Conclusion

It is important to have either a trust or a will because without them, your property will be distributed according to the state laws that remain out of your control. However, a lot of people find that a trust works better for them and their specific situation. Your age, wealth, and marital status help determine whether or not you need a trust.

If you need help planning a trust, or if you are trying to figure out if a trust is right for you, contact us at Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates!

 

 

3 Reasons Why It’s Helpful to Have an Attorney Prepare Your Important Documents

Whether you’re currently going through a divorce or going through the process of estate planning, the documents you file will be the final and lasting note your case lands on. To make sure that your documents are all able to stand up in court, having a licensed attorney look them over for you can be truly beneficial to you and your case. Here are three reasons why we believe that you should trust an attorney rather than self-help to prepare your important documents.

Legal Language

When it comes to writing your court documents, the language means everything. Choosing one word over another can make or break your case; this is why having an attorney look over the language of your document can save you time and hassle in the court room later. An attorney is able to understand the language needed to present a strong and compelling case due to their experience.

Stronger Case

When you’re trying to get the results you desire from your court case, it all comes down to how strong the documents are. By using a self-help service you could be jeopardizing your chances at winning in your court case. An attorney will be able to find flaws and fix them in your documents because they’ll have the best understanding of what words work best to achieve the desired results.

Eases Divorce and Estate Planning

Going through a divorce can already be a stressful time, as can estate planning and making sure your final wishes will be carried out. Don’t add the extra stress of trying to format and craft your legal documents on top of it. By having an attorney look over and help you write the most compelling and accurate documents possible, you’ll not only be saving your time and money but also your sanity during an already stressful time.

Conclusion

So whether you’re working through a divorce or are in the process of making sure your final wishes are cared for, having some expert help in preparing your legal documents will seem like a blessing. Let an attorney help you craft the documents using the best language for the job so that your message is clearly conveyed.

Why It’s Important to Consider a Lawyer for Estate Planning

It can be extremely difficult to think about the future, particularly when it involves thinking about your eventual death, but it can be very important to put some actual hard thought behind it. Using a lawyer when you’re trying to go through the stages of estate planning can ensure that your assets end up where you want them and not given to the state.

Expressing Your Will

When it comes to making sure that your final wishes are recorded for your loved ones, ensuring that they are legally binding is incredibly useful. Having an attorney there to help you keep everything organized and legitimate can make the process ten times easier to understand and execute. There shouldn’t be any more hastily written notes on notebook paper, but instead well thought out and organized wishes for how you want your loved ones to care for your belongings after you’re gone.

Granting Power of Attorney

Power of attorney privileges should not be overlooked while estate planning with your lawyer. Choosing the right person to have this mighty power means choosing the person who will dictate your wishes to not only your family, but also medical personnel should you be unable to. Whether you choose someone close to you to exercise power of attorney or your lawyer, you should definitely spend some time considering all that it entails to entrust this power to someone. Don’t leave your loved ones guessing and fighting over what you would have wanted in the event of an accident that leaves you in a vegetative state or worse.

Being the Guardian of Important Guardianships

If you’re a parent and the most unfortunate event of your death occur while your child is still underage, then you truly need to think long and hard over who will be left in charge of their care. This is especially important to consider when you have either gone through or are going through a divorce; this is important if your spouse is not available to take over guardianship. As a parent you know how difficult it can be to entrust your children to someone else and using the services of an attorney can help you narrow down who it should be.

Conclusion

We understand that it’s never easy planning for the unknown future and yet we also know how incredibly important it is for protecting your loved ones from any further hurt. By employing the services of a lawyer with planning your estate, you’re guaranteeing a smoother grieving period for your family.