Most people are familiar with the concept of a living trust but fail to appreciate the importance that a trust be specifically tailored to the individual and their family to accomplish their specific estate planning goals. This lack of understanding leads many to believe they can simply go to a bookstore and buy a book or download a form to prepare their trust.
The Pitfalls of Generic or Bare-Bones Living Trusts
• Although living trusts appear to be better than wills, they do not avoid probate unless they are fully funded.
• Most living trusts are sterile legal forms designed to accomplish only limited objectives and they rarely include important instructions for loved ones.
• Generic living trusts do not allow you to pass on values or preserve special assets such as family cabins, heirlooms, or firearms.
The Solution: Custom Estate Planning
While the basis for many well-designed estate plans is a revocable living trust containing special instructions for your loved ones regarding your assets, a trust cannot address your health care or end of life planning.
What can Proper Estate Planning do for You?
• Provide instructions for your care and that of your loved ones in the event of your disability.
• Be effective if you move to or own property in another state.
• Avoid probate and its associated legal costs.
• Keep your affairs private and confidential.
• Control all of your property, including pensions and life insurance.
• Allow you to leave explicit instructions for the care of loved ones.
• Create protective trusts for young children, disadvantaged children, adult children and grandchildren.
• Provide federal estate tax planning.
Creating an Estate Plan is Easy
With the help of your attorney and advisors, you will quickly and comfortably establish a living trust centered estate plan for yourself and your loved ones. Your living trust may be changed or canceled at any time. As maker, trustee, and primary beneficiary, you control every aspect of your property. You also appoint the trustees, naming as many or as few as you like, with specifications regarding who takes care of what and when.
A Proper Estate Plan Meets Your Goals
It allows you to plan for possible disability and direct the distribution of your property. It saves tax dollars, professional fees and court costs. And, most importantly, it keeps you in control of your own affairs.
To speak with an experienced estate planning attorney about your specific estate planning needs, email us or call us toll free at (818)348-6700.