WHY DO YOU NEED AN ESTATE PLAN?
If you own any real estate, you must have an estate plan WITH A TRUST to avoid the time and expense of probate. In addition, a trust allows you to indicate who benefits from your estate, who receives gifts, money, and property, and when and how those benefits are received.
You can also choose someone you trust to handle your affairs if you are incapacitated (vs. an expensive, court-appointed conservator).
You will select a Guardian for your children (for court approval) and can set guidelines for when and how they receive their inheritance, instead of in a lump sum at 18 years old with no oversight.
You can choose the right person to make health care decisions for you if hospitalized or incapacitated. This prevents the hospital from making decisions for you and ensures the flow of information to your family.
You can also outline your end of life decisions including life support, organ donation, funeral, and burial. Clear direction takes this burden off of your loved ones.
An estate plan with a trust is also called a “Living Trust.” You continue to control your assets and the benefit of those assets. You can change or update your trust at any time to keep pace with your needs.
In the process of creating your estate plan, you will develop a relationship with your attorney and communicate key information about your family needs and dynamics. Within this context, this attorney can support and assist your family in the future when your estate plan documents are needed.