Trusts, Wills and Estates
Wealth creation and proper estate planning should go hand-in-hand. Not only have you’ve worked hard to save and invest for yourself, but have most likely done so with your family in mind. One way to ensure your assets are correctly being protected with by creating an estate plan. That way your future generations will have the necessary resources to pursue their goals.
The primary tools used in estate planning are trusts and wills. Although many people use the two terms interchangeably, they are in fact quite different. While both are legal documents, a will only comes into effect upon your death.
It simply establishes who receives your property when you die. It may also stipulate who gets custody of your children, who should execute it (the will), and how your debts and taxes are to be paid. You can name a family member as the executioner, or more commonly, appoint the responsibility to your will attorney.
A trust, on the other hand, takes effect the moment you sign it. It gives another person, or institution (called trustee), ownership of your assets, whether you are dead or alive. If that person passes away, the assets will then be transferred to the next beneficiary in line.
There are two types:
- A revocable trust can be altered anytime you wish
- An irrevocable trust cannot be changed after you have signed it
Generally speaking, a trust is more complex to create and manage compared to a will. That said, it doesn’t have to go through the typically long probate process that wills are usually subjected to upon your death.
With that in mind, the preparation of wills and trusts, with the help of an estate lawyer, is what is known as estate planning. It involves the transfer of assets to people or institutions either before or after your death.
Benefits of Estate Planning
Estate planning is not just for the elderly; it is for everyone. As soon as you have any assets, it is beneficial work with an estate lawyer to ensure that they are secured through a will or trust. Your estate plan will provide financial well-being, not to mention peace of mind, for your beneficiaries, whether they are your children or any other heirs.
In the event you die without a trust or will, the courts will have the full right to determine who should administer your estate. Without a testamentary tool, the courts can go as far as rule on who is entitled to receive your assets and who is not, without any consideration of your intentions. Effectively leaving your loved ones in financial and emotional distress.
Here are specific reasons to draft a will or trust:
- It will protect your wealth, no matter how large or small it is, against loss in a lawsuit.
- It will ensure the direct transfer of money or assets for the well-being of your immediate family.
- You get to dictate who benefits from your wealth and assets.
- You can use a will or trust to support an important cause by making a donation.
- Will or trusts minimize the tax payable on transfer of property.
- It is an excellent way of building a lasting legacy for yourself
Note that you can always change a will or a revocable trust if you feel the need to.
The Role of an Estate Lawyer
To a layperson, the laws regarding trusts, wills, and estates can be understandably complicated. Enlisting an estate lawyer ensure your wishes will be properly carried out. bye translating your financial affairs into the necessary testamentary instruments. Apart from guaranteeing their legality and validity, the attorney will also ensure that the documents are prepared in accordance with the guiding rules and can counsel you on the best ways to minimize, or avoid, paying taxes on transfers.
Estate Planning At Versant Law Group
It is fundamentally important that you work with a professional attorney when doing estate planning. At Versant Law, we take the time and effort to create an estate plan that truly reflects your individual needs.
We have a dedicated team that offers in-depth legal services regarding trusts, wills, estate planning, estate administration, estate litigation, and probate. Our goal is to offer you security and the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your hard work will translate to a lasting legacy without any legal difficulties.
Our highly customizable services cover:
- Generation-skipping trusts
- Charitable lead trusts
- Charitable remainder trusts
- Family limited liability companies
- Family limited partnerships
- Irrevocable insurance trusts
- Grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs)
- Private family foundations
- And many more
Talk to us today, and we will assist you in preparing a trust, will or comprehensive estate plan that is in line with your personal wishes and situation.