Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, and Life Insurance can all work together to help you plan your estate. A will is another legally binding document that specifies how your assets previously held in your trust will be distributed. You can detail who will inherit which asset, including how much, frequency, timing, and other conditions you would like to have met. For example, let's say you have a fund set up for your child.
If you die, you don't want this fund to be available to your child right away. Instead, you want a small percentage to be distributed to your child monthly, after he or she has reached a certain age. All of these conditions and requirements will be documented in your will. A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that allows a person to determine who will be the beneficiaries of his estate and exactly what assets each will receive.
The most notable aspect of a final will is that it designates an executor, who is usually a trusted person, to oversee the implementation of the will and the division of the estate. The will creator predetermines the method in which his estate will be dispersed, which effectively minimizes the chances that any of his property or assets will need to be administered by a probate court. A Last Will and Testament is an effective estate planning solution for individuals whose asset values fall below the threshold for wealth taxes. If the net worth of an estate is higher, there are more effective solutions available.
For individuals who have substantial property and assets and require an estate planning instrument that offers the highest level of assurance that their estate will not be subject to probate court, a living trust is the best solution. A living trust is a legal agreement in which a person transfers his or her properties and assets to the trust and appoints a beneficiary to inherit those assets when the creator of the trust dies. While alive, the trust creator has access to all properties and assets and maintains control over the trust. After the death of the trust creator, a default trustee manages the living trust according to the wishes of the trust creator.
The beneficiary receives assets and property in a predetermined manner established by the trust and supervised by the appointed trustee. The living trust effectively eliminates any possibility of property or assets ending up in an estate proceeding, which can save beneficiaries substantial amounts of time and money, as well as aggravating circumstances. One element of estate planning that is often overlooked is giving instructions to loved ones in the event that a person becomes incapacitated in any way that prevents them from making their own health care decisions. A living will provides family members and medical professionals with a predetermined list of directives that the person wishes to follow if they become incapacitated and unable to make decisions.
The specific directives of a living will may include whether or not the person wishes to remain on life support or whether or not certain life-saving methods or emergency medications should be used to sustain life. Many people use a durable power of attorney along with a living will to provide a trusted person to ensure that the living will is complied with. Another consideration of detailed estate planning is to appoint a trusted person to act as a financial power of attorney to act on behalf of a person in the event that they become temporarily incapacitated. A financial power of attorney may be established to take effect only if the person is deemed to be medically incapable of making his own financial decisions and managing his day-to-day affairs.
When incapacitation occurs, the financial power of attorney takes over the day-to-day functions of an estate until the person fully recovers and can act on his or her own behalf. This can help ensure perfect supervision of a person's wealth during a stressful time. Estate Planning Goes Beyond Writing. Thorough planning means accounting for all your assets and ensuring that they are transferred as smoothly as possible to the people or entities you want to receive them.
In addition to implementing your plan, you need to make sure that others are aware of you and understand your wishes. Nolo's Quicken WillMaker %26 Trust is the best-selling gold standard for do-it-yourself estate planning software. Simply download the software to your computer, answer questions about your family and your property, and create a complete estate plan for yourself and everyone in your family. WillMaker gives you a lot of information in simple English to help you along the way.
This estate planning tool allows you to specify “who gets what” when you die. Without your own Last Will and Testament, your assets will be distributed according to state guidelines. A will also allows you to name guardians for your minor children. This is important because if something happens to you and your spouse, the state will decide who will have legal authority over your minor children.
It could be a person or institution that you had never chosen to have such authority. If your estate is small and your wishes are simple, an online or bundled will writing program may be sufficient for your needs. Typically, these programs take into account the specific requirements of the IRS and the state and guide you in drafting a will through an interview process about your life, finances, and legacies. You can even update your home will as needed.
When it comes to probate matters, such as the formal administration of an estate, Florida trustees seek the assistance of Doane's lawyers %26 Doane, P. .