The Top Estate Planning Questions

Can't shake the feeling that you should be contemplating estate planning, but you have too many questions, so you put it off again?

Want some answers before you have to navigate complicated situations?

Here are some questions and answers:

What's the difference between a will and a trust?

Wills become effective after death, while some trusts take effect as soon as they're signed. Wills direct who receives property, appointing a legal representative to oversee the process. Trusts can be used both during life and prior to your death. Trusts cover only property placed in the trust, while wills cover anything owned by you, the creator of the will. Wills are public record, whereas generally a trust remains private.Guardians for minor children are appointed in a will. It's important to note that trusts and wills can serve together as teammates in a comprehensive estate plan.

Do I need a living trust?

A living trust is a document similar to a will, but the advantage is that you allow your estate to pass to beneficiaries privately, without court proceedings or probate costs and delays. It also lets you instruct a chosen trustee how you want all assets in the trust managed during your lifetime should you become incapacitated. Another advantage is that living trusts can be set up to protect the inheritance you leave to your heirs from lawsuits, divorces, and other claims. A trust can also provide oversight for heirs who may be financially immature or are prone to poor decision-making.

What is a property power of attorney?

Powers of attorney grant legal rights to another person if you're unable to make decisions for yourself, such as if you were suddenly on a respirator. You assign tasks concerning your financial affairs and other matters to a person of your choice instead of relying on the courts to appoint a person, thereby preserving your privacy while saving time and money. .

What is a health care power of attorney?

A durable heath care power of attorney allows you to set forth your health care and end of life medical decisions and also name a health care agent to make medical decisions that you can no longer make. "Durable" means the power of attorney remains in effect when you're incapacitated.

How can you prevent family members from contesting your will?

You can make the arrangements more likely to be upheld by ensuring your will is properly executed by working with an experienced attorney. Explain your decisions to your family in the hope you can defuse any problems in advance.

How can you bring up the subject of estate planning with your family?

Address issues now to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts by remembering that estate planning is about uniting family members with clear and thoughtful instructions in your documents. You can preserve your family's values and help ensure a family business prospers and remains in the family if that's what you want to happen.

Estate planning can be complex, both emotionally and legally, so it's good to think about what most perplexes you. You may start your own estate planning journey to protect and preserve your hard-earned wealth for your family and friends. Speaking with your estate planning attorney about your circumstances will help determine the best course of action for you.

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Categories: Estate Planning