What is Estate Planning?
Estate Planning is a blueprint and legal structure for the accumulation, protection and distribution of assets during one’s life and upon death. Various legal structures can be used such as trusts, wills, joint accounts, beneficiary designations, power of attorney designations, deeds, etc. A comprehensive estate plan should always include a review of the titles to property and beneficiary designations for all assets to ensure your estate planning objectives; otherwise, unintended consequences may ensue.
Many times estate plans are designed but never fully implemented or properly funded. Funding is the process of moving and titling assets into the legal structures of your plan such as deeding real estate into your trust. For instance, if the plan is to put the house into a trust, but the house is never properly deeded into the trust, then the plan is not funded and the trust has no practical benefit.
So it is very important to always carry through any estate plan through to completion.
Advantages of a Living Trust Plan
- Preserves privacy at death.
- Protects assets from lawsuits.
- Avoids probate of family assets.
- Avoids problems of joint ownership.
- Protects assets for disabled children.
- Directs inheritances in blended families.
- Avoids guardianship in case of incapacity.
- Provides qualification for government benefits.
Estate planning is more than a will or trust.
It also includes:
- Assigning a power of attorney for financial matters upon disability.
- Assigning a healthcare proxy to make medical decisions upon incapacity.
- Establishing beneficiaries for life insurance and retirement accounts.
- Making final expense arrangements.
- Minimizing estate and capital gain taxes.
- Repositioning assets to qualify for government benefits.
Call For A No-Risk Consultation