More than half of the U.S. adult population does not have a will. Without a will, we leave our loved ones unprotected in managing the assets we leave behind. Trusts can also be a smart addition to your estate planning. It’s never too early to begin planning your estate, but most people begin when they have accumulated assets, both real property and savings.
Wills are an absolute must for your estate planning, and they can be complex, so we’ll take a look at different aspects to help simplify the concept.
What is a will?
A legal document that directs who will manage your stuff, and what happens to your stuff upon your death.
How do I get a will?
You can create your own will with an online service (just be sure it complies with your state laws), consult an attorney, or even see if your employer offers legal services such as wills as part of your benefits package.
What makes the most sense for my estate planning?
Hiring an estate planning attorney could be your best option for creating a will. Bradley Wealth will gladly work with your attorney, who will verify the accuracy of the will’s content, and we’ll all make sure your will represents your wishes, including your financial accounts, savings plans and ideal legacy.
Additionally, an estate planning attorney will know the ins and outs that you might not ever think of, and they’ll do everything you ask to ensure your loved ones are taken care of.
Should I Consider a Trust?
It depends. A trust can help fulfill your financial goals for your family and they have definite benefits, including:
- Asset management continuity
- Tax Savings
Do I Need a Revocable Living Trust?
A living, or revocable trust, means your estate will not have to go through a court-supervised process after your death, and while you’re alive, the trust allows you to organize and manage your assets.
Trusts offer great flexibility upon your death. For instance, your trust could divide your assets and create new trusts for your family members, giving them protection against creditors and even divorce.
Are There any Drawbacks to Trusts?
Trusts must be funded, and you should have all your assets included in your trust. Your attorney will be able to share options for creating and funding a trust. Even with a trust, you’ll want to have a will as a back-up.
What should my Estate Planning Priority be?
Getting your will and completing your powers of attorney are the most important, and they’re relatively easy. Then you can focus on creating a trust according to your estate planning attorney’s guidance. When you’ve put these few instruments into place, you’ll have peace of mind that your loved ones can assist when you’re no longer able, and they’ll be taken care of after your death. It’s not pleasant to think about our own demise, but it sure is wise to ensure we leave the legacy of our own design for the people we love.