Many of us procrastinate when it comes for distribution of our assets. While unpleasant to contemplate our demise, it is often put off until it is too late. Death and or devastating disabilities are not the kinds of situation we look forward to discussing, but a legal advisor can lessen the pain. We know our families frequently turn a deaf ear to these topics, but they need to realize that being thrown into a state of upheaval after a tragic loss is much worse.
There are some painless estate planning tips that one can do immediately that will start the process going in an innocuous way. It is always a good idea to start with a person experienced in such matters of estate planning.
First and foremost, one must create a will. It is staggering to read the statistics of the most wealthy who simply have not made the time to do so. A will can be basic, but there are many options, so be sure to speak to people who know the nuances. A testamentary trust will not take action until after you pass, so do not be afraid to consider unexpected situations that may come up that can use up funds.
A trust is generally built into one’s will. If a person with some wealth passes away and leaves the spouse a considerable amount of money, it is usually in spouse’s name. But if she remarries, and then passes away, her new husband and his heirs can inherit up to one-third of that wealth.
Baby boomers might prefer a revocable living trust for a number of reasons. If you own property in more than one state, this type of trust allows your estate to avoid each unique probate process in various states. Such a trust is portable, as it follows you along state lines.
You will need a power of attorney, as this person can make legal and financial decisions in the event you become incapacitated. This is a big decision so consider it carefully. The power of attorney must be trustworthy and efficient. It can create hard feelings especially among children so try to talk about this in advance to get their input.
All of these decisions can be mind-boggling. For this reason, there are people out there who can help you take this enormous step to ensure your loved-ones are well-taken care of you pass.
Source:marketwatch.com, “5 estate-plan strategies for boomers” Andrea Coombes, Nov. 29, 2013