Audobon Estate Planning Attorneys
Today you feel vibrant and alive. You are mentally competent. You might even have a carefree lack of concern for how your financial assets will be distributed when you die. However, if you fall victim to unexpected or unforeseen circumstances or you suddenly lose your mental faculties, what then? Consult with our Audobon estate planning attorneys.
Establishing a living trust and a last will and testament helps you plan for the allocation of your estate. Our Audobon estate planning attorneys make certain that wills and trusts are properly written and submitted. We do what we can to see that your wishes are accurately carried out. The execution of an estate that has a living trust in place has essentially three stages.
Establishing Wills and Trusts
First, establishing a living trust or a last will and testament requires the guidance of an expert estate planner. These legal documents, drafted by our Audobon estate planning attorneys, will specify how your money, property or other valuable assets are dispersed.
You are the trust make unless you choose to appoint a trustee. The benefit of having a trustee or executor assigned comes into play if you are deemed mentally incompetent before you actually die.
Having an appointed trustee is not mandatory, we recommend it. If due to unforeseen circumstances, you can can change the assignment of trustee responsibilities can be changed. As part of creating these documents, you may also consider appointing a power of attorney to handle cases such as mental incapacity.
Wills & Trusts – The Differences
Do not think that wills and living trusts are the same thing. Each one has a useful purpose in the planning of your estate and should be discussed with our knowledgeable Audobon estate planning attorneys. One difference between the two is when they will actually go into effect.
Your will indicates your wishes when you die. A will does not become active until at which time you pass away. Wills can only deal with property that is in your name and does not include property in joint title or tenancy.
Trusts, however, disperse property before your death, at the time of your death, or any period afterward. Your trust stands as a legally binding agreement between you and a designated trustee.
Trustees can be an individual, or an institution such as a bank, or legal firm. The trustee holds trusts for a designated person referred to as the beneficiary. Trusts often establish a series of two sets of beneficiaries. One set receives the benefits established by your trust during their lives and the other in the event that the original beneficiary dies.
Revocable Living Trust vs. Irrevocable Living Trust
A revocable living trust and an irrevocable living trust have two notable differences. When the revocable option is chosen, beneficiaries can be changed or removed, plus the stipulations of the trust modified. Irrevocable cannot be altered except in very rare circumstances.
You may assume that a revocable living trust is always the logical choice. This is not always true, because with the level of control in a revocable trust, also come some disadvantages. If you are sued, assets in a revocable trust are not protected and can be liquidated to satisfy a judgment. Make sure to discuss these options in detail with knowledgeable counsel to select the right option for your specific situation.
You might consider using a pour-over will is also a useful option. This is a situation where your estate creates a trust and states that the designated trustee will receive your property in the event of your death. Discuss a pour-over will with an attorney because while they are becoming more commonly accepted, they are not in all jurisdictions.
Having your wishes legally documented before you die or lose your mental faculties is critical. Establishing a living trust and a last will testament before you need them will relieve your family of unnecessary stress. Drafting your living trust and will using our Audobon estate planning attorneys avoids the calamity of a sudden mental illness or death occurring. It keeps your affairs from going into probate court without an established guideline for the disbursement of your property.