Why Should You Be Interested in Trust and Estate Planning Services Near You?
Every single person has an estate. By estate, we are referring to every single thing you own: from your favourite stamp collection, your pets, houses, cars, auctioned art pieces, lands, or investments stashed away. As valuable as these might be to you, they could be lost in the blink of an eye, to people who would value them less, if you have not taken out time in preparing a will and trust. That is, your loved ones and relatives could be left destitute; your spouse could be left struggling, and your children could be left without funds and a guardian if you have not taken out time to plan your estate.
Essentially, estate planning is simply planning how all that you own can be protected, cared for, and distributed amongst your loved ones in the case of your death or incapacitation.
WHAT ARE THE ASPECTS COVERED IN ESTATE PLANNING?
Estate planning is best done with the guidance of a good estate planning attorney. It involves certain documents to cater for different situations.
Important components are listed below:
- In this category, the guardianship document under estate planning determines who you want to have guardianship over your minor children, in the case of your death or a situation in which you are incapable of taking care of them. It prevents your children from being left in the wrong hands. Furthermore, it also details your plans and wishes for them as you would have done if you were still alive or capable, allowing you to see through on your visions and plans for your children.
- The will, on the other hand, is another estate planning document that contains your last wishes and testament concerning your properties and other assets. It allows you to protect your interests in terms of property distribution and who is to control of your assets when you are gone. It gives you the power to do this, as against the state doing so, when you do not have a will. When a person dies without a will, the assets and families are left at the mercy of the state that knows nothing about their preferences. However, a will is only active at death and does not account for situations in which the guarantor is incapacitated.
3. FINANCIAL/DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY:
- The financial power of attorney gives someone else, usually the attorney, the right and power to handle your affairs and finances in any situation. On the other hand, the durable power of attorney accords another person the right to handle your affairs and finances but not anything related to your health or medical situation.
4. ADVANCE HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE:
- This particular document serves as a medical power of attorney. It is solely related to the health and medical care of the individual in question. In other words, a person is given the power to make medical decisions in your stead if you are unable to do so. This means that such a person can agree to you being given surgery, your life support still being used or stopped, and other crucial decisions that you would usually make on your own.
- A trust is a kind of three-fold agreement. A guarantor (the owner of the property) creates a trust where a trustee (the person with whom the property is put in trust) handles the care and management of properties and assets for a stipulated time for the beneficiaries (those for whom the property are being kept for). There are different kinds of trust, but it can be broadly divided into two: revocable trust and irrevocable trust.
- In the revocable trust, the guarantor still has control over the properties in life and can change the terms, conditions, and even trustee at will. In essence, you still have control over what is being done and this can be dissolved at any point in time. However, such a property is still subject to taxation as other properties owned by you. It is only active upon death.
- The irrevocable trust is one where all the assets involved are immediately active and moved out of your estate to the control of the trustee. Here, such assets are free from the issues of estate taxes and can no longer be altered by you the guarantor.
- Additionally, there are other examples of trusts like marital trust, the bypass, charitable trust, generation-skipping trust, spendthrift trust, and special needs trust.
BENEFITS OF A TRUST IN ESTATE PLANNING
A trust comes with a variety of benefits. One of them being able to bypass probate. This is a situation in which properties that have been willed have to pass through the court, could get contested and could last almost 6 to 18 months before getting resolved. Your loved ones do not have to go through the rigours and cost of a court process.
A trust also caters for situations in which you are incapacitated but still alive, as well as, for situations in which the guarantor has dependents with special needs or beneficiaries who are immature financially. It creates a platform through which these sets of people can be considered, without affecting the legacy left behind by you.
You should be interested in the trust and estate planning services near you!