We assist clients requiring support in Estate Planning to execute wills and Trust deeds. We can provide a customize estate plan, draft a will, health care directives and draft other essential documents for your estate plan needs. We suggest methods that are reasonable approach to a specific estate planning problem or issue.
A will is a document that expresses where you would like your property to go at your death. These documents require strict formalities to be valid. If a formality is not followed, the will can be void. The manner in which it is signed must adhere to a very strict procedure. This is not the place for do-it-yourself documents. The plan outlined in your will does not become operative until your death and your will only works on property that stands in your name alone. Wills can be amended or revoked before death as long as you are competent. Additionally, it can name guardians and conservators for minors and/or can establish a trust to protect minors or disabled children. A will is not effective unless probated at death. This probate process does involve both the court and lawyers. The wills could also include designation of beneficiaries and the tenancy of ownerships.
Revocable living trusts
A revocable living trust is a signed agreement between you and whoever will be your trustee. You can be your own trustee if you wish. It states what happens to your property during your lifetime (the trustee will hold it, invest it, pay your bills, give back to you if you want it back, etc.) Then, at disability or death the trust designates a new trustee or trustees to take over, and at death the trust instructs trustee to pay your final bills, pay taxes, and distribute what is left to your beneficiaries.
An estate plan using these trusts have a two stage process. First, you must get documents correct and signed. Secondly, you must transfer all of your assets to the trust. It is very important to get all assets transferred as major benefits are lost if assets are missed.
All plans involving revocable trusts should also have a pour over will. This is a will that leaves everything to your trust. This will serve as a safety net in case you forget to place some assets in your trust, but it is generally hoped that this will is not needed at death because all assets will already be in the trust.
Please call our office for your estate and planning needs.
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