An effective estate plan will take into consideration your current assets as well as the anticipated increase in value of your existing estate. In anticipation of your family’s needs, you should take steps to preserve your estate and protect it from excessive costs and taxes. Ultimately, the goal will be a stress-free and orderly settlement of your assets to your chosen beneficiaries upon your passing. Knowing that you have planned for your family's long-term well-being and financial security can assure your lifetime of hard work is directed and safe. Dennis and his team perform a comprehensive analysis of your current and anticipated estate. We then determine the best means of transferring your assets, minimizing taxes, establishing guardianship for your children, caring for your pets, supporting personal philanthropic causes, and protecting your loved ones.
Our family is our main priority and we want them to live their best lives. When we think about ways to secure them, we must consider all the possible options even when we are no longer around to protect them.
By having the combination of a living trust and a will you can decide how you want your assets to be distributed after your death.
A Will is a way to distribute your property and name a guardian for your minor children after you pass away. A will with real property must be probated by the court and the court will ensure that your property is distributed according to your wishes.
Why should I get a will?
Having a living trust may not be necessary for everyone. A person with no real property and very few assets may only need a simple will. A person who wants the court to have oversite over the distribution of their assets may also want a simple will.
Wills are simple to prepare but must signed in front of two witnesses who are not beneficiaries to your estate. In other words, two disinterested witnesses.
A will is also a good place to nominate a guardian for your minor children.
It is important to be prepared for your family, that way your family doesn’t have to go through any legal additional processes by having your affairs in order.
Having a living trust is not as complicated as it seems. Your assets are put into a trust that is managed by you until you pass away. Then your successor trustee executes your wishes. You can easily add your assets as you accumulate them over time.
When you execute a living trust you are enabling your beneficiaries to bypass the probate and court process and immediately start executing your wishes. Your heirs save time and the expensive costs of probate.
A living trust can designate your assets to support you if you become incapacitated. A benefit to having a living trust is the privacy it affords your family as it is not filed with the court, so you can leave your assets to whomever you want without anyone knowing who those beneficiaries are.
There are five reasons why one should have a living trust
1. You can protect your beneficiaries.
A revocable living trust can make a huge difference by allowing you to give your assets to your loved ones while protecting them at the same time.
2. Managing property upon incapacity
If you suffer an injury that incapacitates you; a living trust can allow your designated person to help you with your financial affairs to take over.
3. It can reduce or even eliminate estate taxes
A living trust can often be used to make certain deductions and credits that are allowed under the tax laws. We can assist you with the right information regarding your estate planning.
A Will becomes a public record, and anyone can have access to it; however, a revocable living trust is private. No one gets to look at them unless the grantor or the trustee allows it.
5. Avoiding Probate
In a revocable living trust your property will not go through probate; however just because your property is in trust it doesn’t mean your outstanding debts don’t have to be paid. Our attorneys can advise you on what can work for you in your specific situation.