Estate Planning – What You Need to Know

Roy Gagaza

April 11, 2023

How to Create an Effective Income Planning Strategy

Estate planning is passing responsibility and wealth from one generation to the next. It is a critical part of life for everyone. The best way to start estate planning is to inventory your assets. This includes everything from your home to cars, art, and collectibles.

Living Trusts

A living trust, also called a revocable trust, is a legal arrangement that can help you hold ownership over assets during your lifetime and distribute them to beneficiaries upon your death. It is a good choice for people who want to avoid the cost and hassle of probate.

A living trust is created when the grantor (the person who makes the trust) transfers ownership of their assets to the faith, appoints a trustee to manage the assets in the beneficiary’s best interest, and names the beneficiaries they wish to receive the trust assets after their death.

A living trust is an excellent option for people with complex estates, family dynamics, or properties in multiple states. In addition, it can help you avoid probate costs and protect your privacy after your death.

Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a document that allows you to appoint someone to make financial and medical decisions for you when you cannot. These documents are essential tools in estate planning and should be taken seriously.

Having a durable power of attorney can benefit anyone who has any significant assets, whether inherited or acquired in their lifetime. It can help you avoid selling your property and paying expensive legal fees if you lose capacity due to illness or an accident.

While a durable power of attorney is generally applicable, it should be re-signed regularly to ensure that your agent has continuing access to your accounts and that you are not vulnerable to fraud or other abuses that may arise from a power of attorney. If a bank believes an agent is misusing their power of attorney, it can turn them away and even take the case to court.

Last Will & Testament

A last will is a document that details how you want your assets and property to be handled after your death. This can include everything from bank accounts to retirement funds and even art collections.

It can also include your final wishes on funeral arrangements and naming a legal guardian for your minor children or dependents. This allows your family to mourn your passing in peace and ensure your final wishes are fulfilled according to your instructions.

Wills are a great way to ensure your final wishes are followed and that your assets, heirs, and spouse are cared for after you die. If you’re unsure about how to make a will or want to update an existing one, seek the help of a reputable estate planning attorney.

Trust Agreements

Trusts are a type of estate planning tool that can help you protect your assets, avoid the probate process and provide protection to beneficiaries. They also allow you to control how and when your assets are distributed.

You can use a revocable or irrevocable trust, depending on your specific needs. Generally, revocable trusts are more flexible and can be amended after the initial creation of the faith.

If you’re unsure whether a trust suits your family, talk with an attorney who can help you decide. These attorneys can often be a part of your employee benefits package or legal insurance plan, saving you money on estate planning fees.

The key is to find the right plan for your unique situation. Ultimately, estate planning aims to ensure that your family and loved ones are protected and provided for. The best way to do that is by creating an estate plan with a trusted and experienced attorney.