Estate Planning requires careful documentation which is custom prepared
Purposes of Estate Planning
People engage in estate planning to establish a comprehensive plan to cover what happens to their money and property in the event of disability or death. There are many variations to an estate plan and each one is custom tailored to your personal situation.
A typical estate plan will (i) be changeable (revocable); (ii) will keep your estate out of the probate court system; (iii) will keep your affairs private; (iv) will have a definite plan as to who receives your money and property on your passing; (v) will provide for your surviving spouse; (vi) will be set up to save estate and gift taxes; (vi) will minimize property tax increases on your passing and (vii) consider income tax implications of transfers of money and property. Crockett Law Corporation advises on all phases of estate planning and custom prepares all necessary documentation.
Avoid Probate Court
A well thought out estate plan can avoid having to go through Probate Court, protect your family from many of the uncertainties of life and make things a lot easier for you and for them in the future.
Typical Estate Planning Documents
Here is a list of the typical Estate Planning documents commonly used in estate planning. Most of these documents are custom prepared to suit your individual family situation.
|TYPE OF DOCUMENT
|PURPOSE/WHAT IT DOES
|Basic estate plan
|Final instructions as to who gets what upon death.
|♦ Revocable (living) Trust
|A legal entity with instructions on how to handle everything before and after death. Because it is revocable it can be changed at any time.
|♦ Durable Power of Attorney
|Allows somebody else to legally sign for you even if you are incapacitated.
|♦ Health Care Directive
|Authorizes others to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so.
|♦ Property transfer documents
|Once a trust is established, deeds and other transfer documents are required to actually put your property and money into the trust.
|♦ Bank and brokerage account Changes that will be needed
|Since a trust is a legal entity, it needs bank accounts in the trust name and whomever establishes the trust will need to go to the bank or brokerage company to sign new signature cards.
|♦ Pension & life insurance changes
|Revised beneficiary designation forms will need to be signed for the trust to control what happens to the proceeds of these items.
|Optional additional items
|♦ Life insurance trust
|A permanent trust to hold life insurance policies to keep it out of your estate for tax purposes so your heirs will get 100% of the benefit.
|♦ Special needs trust
|This is used where there are children with disabilities to insure that there are special instructions for their care.
|♦ Family limited partnership
|A separate entity to hold property or business interests and provide a mechanism to transfer percentages to the next generation in increments to escape estate and gift taxes. Also used for asset protection.
|♦ Limited liability company
|A separate entity typically set up to hold real property or business interests to protect your personal estate from liabilities of the property or business.