Did you know that many Americans die without an Estate Plan in place? What's worse is that many do not even understand the importance and necessity of creating one. As a result, it is your family and friends who may end up suffering. In today's fast- paced society, taking the time to create an Estate Plan could be a daunting task, but here at the Law Office of Daniel Reutskiy, P.C. we make the process simple and convenient.
Estate Planning is the preparation of documents that ensures the proper transfer of your assets upon incapacitation or death. With the proper plan, you can rest easy knowing your loved ones will be taken care of. An Estate Plan requires prepared documents which include a Living Trust, Certification of Trust, a Will, Power of Attorney, and Medical Directives.
A Living Trust is a type of trust created during a person's lifetime. It allows for easy transfer of the trust creator's assets, while allowing the trust creator to avoid the often complex and expensive legal process of probate. Living trust agreements designate a trustee who holds legal possession of assets and property that flow into the trust. A living trust can be revocable or irrevocable. A revocable living trust allows the trust creator to designate himself or herself as the trustee and take control of assets within the trust until the trust creator's death. The trust creator may change beneficiaries or undo the trust at anytime. On the other hand, a irrevocable living trust, cannot be amended once created but may serve to reduce the taxable estate.
A Will is a legal document which sets out the designation of a guardian for minor children and how you want your assets distributed. A Will takes effect upon the Testator's death and may be revoked or amended anytime before death. The downside of a Will is that it may go through Probate, which can be a long and costly process. Note, however, a Living Trust will be accompanied by a "pour over will" which states that any assets that have not been funded into your revocable living trust should go there when you die.
A Power of Attorney is a legal document in which the agent is given authority to act on behalf of the principal in financial matters. An Agent’s authority under a the Power of Attorney may begin immediately or upon the happening of a particular event or particular date. Having a Power of Attorney in place could help your family avoid arguments and costly legal proceedings for conservatorship in order to properly handle the financial matters of an incapacitated individual.
A Medical Directive is a legal document in which the “Principal” appoints an “Agent” to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the Principal, in the event the Principal becomes incapacitated.
Contact us to learn more and to find out what Estate Plan works better for you and your family.
Probate is a Legal process by which the assets of a deceased are distributed to the beneficiaries through an executor named in the will, if a will exists and according to the local law by a court appointed administrator, if a will has not been created.
Yes, you should typically avoid probate because:
It could be useful to sort out complicated creditor issues or resolve family situations.
The first step would be to contact our firm to guide you to the right process depending on your needs and desires. This typically includes creating a Living Trust, however, in certain cases our firm will advise you to take other methods, especially if you have a simple estate.
Contact our office today to help you avoid probate or deal with any probate issue that you may have.
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