Does A Will Need To Be A Part Of Every Estate Plan?
When a will is filed in the court, it becomes public knowledge, which means that your assets and intentions would become public knowledge too. To avoid this situation you can use what’s called a pour-over will, which simply means that you give all your assets to your living trust. If you use a pour-over will, you’ve complied with the law but you also haven’t publicized any of your assets or intentions.
Is A Will On Its Own Enough?
A will does allow you to direct the distribution of your assets, but if it has to go through probate it can become expensive. Sometimes the whole point of an estate plan is to avoid probate because it’s expensive. Every attorney in California makes the same amount when a will goes to probate – it’s a statutory fee of four percent for the first hundred thousand, three percent for the next hundred thousand, two percent for the next hundred thousand, and so on up to a million dollars. On a basic estate of between three to five hundred thousand dollars, you’re looking at between nine and thirteen thousand dollars in attorney’s fees. With a trust, you would avoid all that.
If you have an estate worth less than $160,000, you don’t have to go to probate. Your heirs would need a small estate affidavit, they would need to prove that they are the heirs, and they would have to wait 40 days for distribution, but they don’t have to go to court.
What Are Other Key Ingredients To An Effective Estate Plan?
The key ingredient is making sure you put your assets in the trust. Many people will go to an attorney and set up the paperwork for a trust but if they neglect to put their assets in the trust it isn’t really alive – it’s just a useless piece of paper. Sometimes attorneys will leave that up to the client, and then nobody realizes the trust is unfunded until the person dies. I’m handling a probate case right now for a woman who thought she had a trust set up, but she did it online rather than through an attorney and she didn’t do it correctly – she didn’t sign parts of it. The result is that the estate now has to go through probate.
What Are The Different Types Of Trusts? What Are Their Purposes?
I really only handle revocable trusts. There is such a thing as a land trust but I have never done one. There is also something called an irrevocable trust, but again I’ve never done one because that type of trust is locked down for one specific purpose. There are special needs trusts, and that’s when you have a child with a condition such as Down’s syndrome or autism but you want to make sure they’re protected. A special needs trust can be used to make sure they don’t lose their medical benefits or any government benefit.
Who Are The Necessary Parties Involved In Estate Planning?
There are four main legal documents involved in estate planning: the trust, the will, the advance health care directive, and the financial power of attorney. With a trust, the first thing we will ask a client is who they want for the successor trustee. This would usually be the same person as the executor of the will as well as the agent of the advance health care directive and power of attorney. When you are making an estate plan, the client and the attorney are the necessary parties. For a trust to survive, you also need to have a trustee and a beneficiary. The trustee is whoever they want to take over after they’re gone and the beneficiary is whoever they want to give everything to. If something happens to the trustee, the beneficiaries can usually vote in a new trustee.
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