Getting your estate plan in place is never a ‘one and done’ task. Estate planning is an ongoing process and should be viewed that way.
A will is first. In essence, a will spells out who will get your stuff, in what proportions they will get it and in some instances at least, upon what conditions.
Trusts are often associated with the rich. However, the uber-wealthy are not the only people who can benefit from using trusts. There is no minimum asset level or net worth required to set up a trust, and you can put any amount of money into a trust.
Out of sight, out of mind isn’t just an everyday adage—it’s one of the reasons why people 50 and over fail to write a will, update a previous one, or make other estate planning decisions.
Good estate planning must consider more than what you want to happen to your property and for your beneficiaries. It also must consider what you intentionally want to avoid happening.
Selecting medical powers of attorney is an important step that aging parents should take to ensure they get the care they wan,t if they are unable to advocate for themselves.
You created your revocable living trust to hold your assets. You did so because of the probate avoidance and other benefits. You may have included sophisticated tax-planning provisions in your trust.
Even those who have saved and invested well may not be sharing their financial information with a spouse or loved one. It’s time to do that now.
Estate planning is a crucial part of any holistic financial plan, and financial advisors often work with estate planning attorneys for guidance in this area.
For larger estates, a revocable trust is generally the most effective tool for avoiding probate. It involves some setup costs. However, it allows you to manage the disposition of all of your wealth in one document, while retaining control and reserving the right to modify your plan.