Think of estate planning as top and bottom bedsheets. You and your assets are tucked comfortably in-between. By understanding estate planning in these metaphoric terms you can make an estate plane that gives you peace of mind . . . and a good night’s sleep.
The top sheet can be thought of as covering what happens with your belongings after you pass away. You want a plan that makes certain that your intended heirs receive your property quickly and inexpensively. There may be minor children or others who require maintenance and support.
The bottom sheet can be thought of as protecting you, your property, and the people you love while you’re alive. For the best night’s sleep your estate plan must ensure that if you have a debilitating condition your assets will be managed by someone you know and trust. It also involves the appointment of someone to make medical decisions if you are incapacitated. You should also record your preferences for the type of life-prolonging treatment you wish to receive (or avoid) if your suffering with little hope of recovery.
A Last Will & Testament can be used to designate who receives your property after you pass away. If you have a Will your estate will probably go through probate which is a time consuming and expensive often taking 6 months to a year to complete. Probate is not necessarily a bad thing because court oversight can help guarantee the property will be transferred to the right people.
A Living Trust is created during your lifetime. State law provides that a living trust is a “legal entity” with the ability to hold and manage property. As the original trustee you can put your property in the trust and still control it during your lifetime. When you pass away your successor trustee distributes the property or manages it in the trust for beneficiaries according to the terms of your trust. If your married, after the first spouse passes away, the surviving spouse still has the benefit and control of the trust property. Trusts can avoid the delay and expense of probate. They can also be customized to address your family’s money management concerns.
Powers of Attorney in estate planning are used to cover medical and financial affairs if you are incapacitated.
Advanced Medical Directives record what type of care you wish to receive, or not receive, if you have a terminal condition or there is little hope of recovery.
The LivingTrustSource.com reminds our followers that a good estate plan provides peace and comfort. You’ll sleep better knowing you and your loved ones are covered top to bottom.
Attorney at Law