Why do I need an estate plan?

A well conceived estate plan helps to ensure that your wishes are followed regarding many important matters after your incapacity or death.  Examples include decisions about your long-term care, medical care, guardianship of your minor children, care and support for surviving spouses, providing for care of your pet(s), management of your business(es), and distribution of your assets.

What happens if I don’t have a plan?

If a person with no estate plan becomes incapacitated, then they will be unable to authorize other important people in their life to assist with implementing their wishes regarding their business, finances, long-term care, medical care,  and disposition of their assets.

If a person has no estate plan at their death, then the state government’s laws of intestate succession govern the disposition of their estate.  Seldom does the state’s plan coincide with what the decedent would have wanted.

What should I consider before I begin?

  • Who will you entrust to carry out your wishes for your long-term care and medical care?
  • Who will you entrust to carry out your wishes for management of your financial affairs?
  • Who will you entrust to carry out your wishes for the disposition of your assets?
  • These persons and their alternates and successors may be named as executor of your will or the successor trustee of your trust

What’s the difference between having a “Will” and a “Living Trust”?

If you a person dies with a only a will, then they will likely have to hire an attorney to file for the probate of that will in state court.  In addition to the additional expenses of probate court costs and attorney fees, there is a delay in making your assets available to your loved ones until the conclusion of the probate case.  With a revocable trust, these costs and delays are avoided and control of your remains in the hands of those you trust.

How will I know whether I need a “Will” or a “Living Trust”?

After you have agreed to our terms of service, we provide a FREE consultation to answer your estate planning questions.  For most people with substantial estates, a revocable trust is preferable to a will, because there is continuity of your wishes regarding the management of your estate and financial affairs without court intervention and without having to hire an attorney.  Immediately upon your incapacity or death, the successor is prepared to act according to your wishes – not the state or the court.

If I set up a Living Trust, can I be my own trustee?

Yes.  In fact, most people who create Living Trusts act as their own trustee – never relinquishing any control of their assets until their incapacity or death.  Married persons often serve as co-trustees, so upon the incapacity or death of one spouse, the other takes over as the sole trustee.  Subsequently, one or more successor trustees undertake the responsibilities of trustee.