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.
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!
Planning for the future by drafting up your will can be scary, but important! If you are starting to think about this aspect of your future and want to learn more about a will, be sure to read this month’s blog post!
When it comes to creating your will, you’ll want to create one separate from your spouse. While you are married, it’s important to keep your wills separate. Naturally you are going to have different wishes and items that belong to you alone, so it’s only natural to create a will specific to you. It is also likely that your deaths will be separate. It’s common that you and your spouse will have a will that looks similar, but ultimately slightly different.
Once you have your will crafted, you will want to pick an executor. Normally it’s a family member who you are close with and who you trust and can rely on. Should you find this task a bit daunting or you believe your will is more complicated than most are, it’s important you make sure your attorney is the executor. There is nothing wrong with admitting it’s not good for a family member to have this job, so be sure to make the right choice! Your attorney will also be able to help you make this choice and offer their opinion.
Letter of Instruction
Beyond your will, you will need to create a letter of instruction. These letters are less official and binding than a will, however if your family receives the letter they should be compelled to follow it. A letter of instruction can detail the aspects of your funeral and affairs related to such. You can also include details of each item you are leaving to people. You can let them know what you hope they’ll do with it. While they aren’t bind like a will, your family may find guidance in having the letter.
The overall point of a will is to help your family sort all your belongings after you’ve passed. Without a will everything must go through probate and the state, which is time consuming and stressful for family members who believe something is theirs. If you create a will, and then nobody is able to find it, your family will have to go through the same ordeal as if you never had it. Ensuring that your will is easily accessible and someone who you trust knows where it’s at is essential.
Nobody wants to think about their death and what comes after, however it is an essential part of your future plans. Ensuring you have a will that is easily accessible is in everybody’s best interested. For any legal questions you may have, be sure to reach out to Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates!
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
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
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!
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.
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.