The decisions you make when creating an estate plan are often highly personal in nature. The details regarding the division of your estate assets, for example, are not something you likely share with anyone outside your immediate family. You may not even want your immediate family members to know how you plan to distribute your estate assets when you are gone. If you use a Last Will and Testament as your primary estate planning vehicle, however, you won’t be able to keep the terms of that Will … [Read more...] about Using a Trust to Keep Your Affairs Private
Wills and Trusts
When most people create their initial estate plan, they begin by executing a Last Will and Testament to act as the foundation of their plan. A Will, in fact, can suffice as your entire estate plan when you are young and have yet to start a family nor amass much of an estate. As both your estate and your family grow, however, so should your estate plan. At some point, you may consider adding a living trust to your estate plan. Many people choose to use a living trust instead of a Will as the … [Read more...] about Is a Living Trust Better than a Will?
Similar to the executor’s role in an estate, a trustee manages trust assets, including investments and beneficiaries. Management of trusts may go on for many years, whereas management of an estate is short-lived and can take 12 months to 2 years. The trustee’s primary responsibility involves following the instructions of the trust. Along with an accounting of paid expenses and the trust balance, trustees give regular reports to the trust beneficiaries. Trustees may hire outside professionals to … [Read more...] about What Does A Trustee Do?
With names that sound so similar, you might think these two documents are basically the same thing. But while both can be an essential part of your estate plan, the two are used for very different purposes. A Will is a legal document that you use to specify what will happen to your belongings after you die. With your Will, you appoint an Executor who will act on behalf of your estate during the probate process, ensuring that your final bills are paid and your property is distributed in … [Read more...] about Will and Living Will: What is the difference?
Like most people, you likely understand how important it is to have an estate plan in place. Despite knowing how important it is to have an estate plan in place, you may have yet to create a plan. If so, you are hardly alone. Nearly half of all Americans do not have an estate plan in place. One mistake you do not want to make, however, is to cut corners when you finally do decide to create your estate plan because when it comes to your estate plan, what you don’t know about New York Wills and … [Read more...] about What You Don’t Know about New York Wills and Trusts Law Could Hurt You
For most people, a Last Will and Testament serves as the foundation for a comprehensive estate plan. After all, a Will is usually the first estate planning document you create and execute. As time goes by, and you add additional goals and objectives to your estate plan, however, your Will may become less important. It may become more of a springboard to other estate planning documents. Do not make the mistake though, of thinking you no longer need a Will. Regardless of how elaborate the rest of … [Read more...] about Why Do You Need a Pour Over Will?
A modern day estate plan typically includes a wide variety of estate planning tools and strategies that go beyond a simple Last Will and Testament. One of the most common of those tools is a trust agreement. Trusts have evolved over the past century or so to the point where there is a specialized trust for almost any estate planning objective. All trusts, however, have a few basic elements in common, starting with the need to appoint a Trustee. The Trustee of any trust is responsible for … [Read more...] about How Are Trust Assets Invested?
If you have created a comprehensive estate plan you are doing better than over half of all Americans who, studies show, have yet to create theirs. Just because you are ahead of the game, however, doesn’t mean you can stop there. Creating your estate plan is only the first step in protecting yourself, your assets, and your loved ones. The next, and most important step is to review and revise your estate plan on a regular basis and when events require it. Of course, it helps to know what events … [Read more...] about What Events Should Cause an Estate Plan Revision?
A recent survey unveiled a few surprising mindsets in America and how we handle end of life matters. It’s being called “conversation disconnect” and it shows that 90 percent of us know we should have an end of life conversation with our loved ones, yet less than 30 percent of us have made that effort. The Conversation Project conducted the survey and as estate planning lawyers, we know all too well the awkwardness and uncertainty about discussing our final wishes with our family members. But we … [Read more...] about The Conversation Project
A lot of people automatically assume that they should use a last will when they are planning ahead for the future. Because expressing your final wishes can seem like a relatively simple and straightforward matter you may think that you can construct your own will. In fact, there are a number of websites out there that make a business out of selling this notion to the public. They will provide you with a download or a worksheet for a fee. You fill in the blanks and you will ultimately have … [Read more...] about Considering a DIY Will? Read Our Free Report First