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LEARN

It takes approximately one hour to complete your Estate Planning Portfolio Interview with your advisor and attorney.

WHAT IS ESTATE PLANNING?

Estate Planning is the process of setting up a plan that establishes who will eventually receive your assets. The objective of an estate plan is to make sure “A” [assets] get to “B” [ your beneficiaries]. It also establishes how you want your affairs to be handled in the event you are unable to handle your affairs yourself. This plan is what you use to protect your family and loved ones when you are gone or in uncertain times. 

A Strong Estate Plan

A strong estate plan has a variety of elements- a Revocable Living Trust, Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney Forms,  &  Healthcare Directives.

Why a Will Isn’t Enough

Writing a will is an excellent starting point for an estate plan, but it’s inflexible. You generally make your decisions once and file the will away, but life is full of surprises. That is why many people, just like you, opt for the flexibility of a living trust. This type of trust lets you to make changes with relative ease as circumstances change. Additionally a trust can avoid probate, while a will MUST go through probate.

Revocable Living Trust

This is the "core" document of the plan allowing the creator to state who is to receive their stuff. Revocable living trusts are used to avoid probate and to protect the privacy of the trust owner and beneficiaries of the trust as well as minimize estate taxes. They can also be changed over time. A trust provides privacy, convenience and control that everyone wants. The cost savings and administrative efficiencies associated with a fully funded Revocable Living Trust are well established undisputed facts.

Last Will & Testament

Should someone not place all of their assets into their trust, the last will, sometimes called a Pour Over Will, will accomplish this objective. The will directs that any assets that are in someones name when they die are to transfer to the Trust. This allows them to be sure that ALL of their assets will flow through to the Trust. Additionally, the will states the choice of a guardian for any appropriate beneficiary.

Durable Powers of Attorney

This document is designed so the creator can select a person to act on their behalf to make decisions for them if they  become incapacitated. The individual or agent they select would then be able to make financial decisions if they cannot.

Health Care Directives

This document allows a creator to make multiple health care directives. Examples of directives are: having life support systems removed or allowing for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Additionally, they can appoint the person who would carry out their requests. And, they have the ability to update the instructions on line at anytime.

What is Probate?

In basic terms, probate is simply the legal procedure your estate goes through after you pass away. During this legal proceeding a court will start the process of distributing your estate to the proper heirs. A will MUST go through probate. During probate, a court will first authenticate your will, determine the value of all your assets, and then authorize your executor to pay all debts and taxes and distribute your remaining property accordingly, per the instructions you leave. This is NOT free-- someone must pay for this process and the associated attorney fees. The good news is  you can avoid probate with a properly funded trust!


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ONE HOUR!

It takes approximately one hour to complete your Estate Planning Portfolio Interview with your advisor and attorney.

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