Many people believe that Estate Planning is for the elderly or the very wealthy. This misconception arises largely from the general public's misunderstandings about what estate planning is and how an estate planning may affect you and your family while you are alive.
Although there are numerous estate planning techniques and instruments, the most common and effective estate planning tool known as the "living trust" can provide most people with proper and sufficient estate planning needs.
Living Trust can help you provide financial security for you and your family, account for special education or health needs of a loved one, allow you to manage your assets during your lifetime, provide medical and financial instructions in the event that you become incapable of making these decisions, allow your under-aged children to be properly cared for in the event of your illness or premature death, minimize estate tax liability and avoid expensive and time consuming probate process.
In order to create a living trust, the trust must have assets properly transferred into it. Typically, these assets must be re-titled into the name of the living trust in order to be properly owned by the trust. Assets that are not listed in the living trust may not benefit from the provisions of the trust. In that regard, it is advisable to have a pour over will which would essentially add your forgotten assets into the trust instrument. During your lifetime, you can change and control how your assets are to be used, sold or distributed. Upon your death, the living trust distributes your assets to those parties you have name as beneficiaries of your living trust, thereby bypassing the usually long, expensive and arduous process of court directed probate.
In addition, a well planned living trust can also help you avoid or reduce taxes so that you can leave as much of your assets to your heirs and not to the government. Should you want to take advantage of estate and tax planning opportunities for you and your family please contact us or your financial advisor to plan for your future and maintain control of your assets.