Planning for the division of your assets upon your death may sound like something you would rather let your heirs figure out. After all you will have moved on to bigger and better things, right? NO!
Estate planning is more than just dividing the family china. It is used in everyday life to help protect your assets while you are alive. A Trust not only alleviates the need for your family to probate your estate upon your passing, which costs a lot of money, it allows your family to make decisions for you in the event you are not longer mentally capable of handling your affairs.
Typically a married couple will be named as trustees of their estate. The trust will give them the ability to make all necessary decisions. In the event one or both of them becomes mentally or physically incapacitated a list of people that they choose is designated to act in their behalf. You can decide if only one additional person is named or maybe you would require multiple people to act jointly. This allows YOU to determine who will make the decisions for you.
Imagine being in a rest home with Alzheimer’s. You are the only person on title to your home because your spouse has passed away. You need money to pay for the rest home expenses. The only way your children could sell your home to obtain the funds needed is to go to court and have one of them named as your personal representative. The cost of that is expensive and the time it takes is not in your best interest. A trust alleviates this!
I have a Will, that is all I need right? NO! A Will tells everyone your wishes, but a probate must still be filed. it takes a court order to exercise your wishes as declared in your will.
There are many more types of services that are considered Estate Planning. Here are just a few:
- Pre-nuptial Agreements
- Post Nuptial Agreements
- Guardianship Agreements
- Living Wills
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Specific Power of Attorney
- Corporate Resolutions to instruct upon a Principal’s death.