Estate Planning. Wills & Trusts. Costs.
What are the basics?
The basics of estate planning are a Will and a durable medical Power of Attorney. The essence of these two components are obviously critical to your loved one’s, but there are other things that are equally important in our eyes. You have ‘stuff’, and that stuff often has a value to you. It may be baseball cards, a record collection, antiques, etc. Often families don’t have a list of things that they want to go somewhere or be given to someone, or something such as a charity. This is called a legacy plan, and it includes all the softer things in life you have placed a physical value. Loved one’s are already in a state of sadness, so making it a little easier on them could be the difference between getting your wishes and not.
What do I do, a will or a trust?
Well, maybe it is both. First off, you must know that Wills are a public document, and while they may accomplish what you want, you may not want your neighbors to know should they desire to take a look. Trusts’ are not public, in fact they are not even recognized by the IRS as a vehicle. For the sake of passing on assets to heirs, a Trust can make the process much less painful, which hopefully you want to do assuming you actually like who you are passing your worldly possessions to. This is said with some sarcasm, but trust me, not all folks give their possessions to children or people they like. Also, Will’s have to go through probate court and this is timely and expensive, usually for your heirs who are dealing with enough at that time.
Revocable Living Trust Who gets it, when, how and its revocable?
Estate Planning vs. Legacy Planning.
You may here a lot of Advisors talk about Legacy Planning, and many mean just the basics of Estate, but we like to think of it a little differently. Sadly, we are all going to leave loved ones behind at some point. And while you may have written a will, have a durable Power of Attorney, and maybe even set up a Trust or two, you likely have given little thought to the softer things in life.
Sure, this is hard, but you have lived for quite some time and you may have left out a lot of important stuff out of your Will that may make it a little harder on your loved ones left behind. So let’s help them out. When we talk about the softer things, it may be a baseball card collection you want your nephew to have, you may have some art work that might not be very valuable in terms of dollars, but you love it and you want to make sure it is taken care of by someone who cares, so you need a plan for these items too!