Its a fact of life; we will all die at some point in time. And if you haven't made proper provisions for how your assets are to be distributed when you pass away, then the State will decide how they get distributed and to whom. Being prepared for the inevitable is always a better choice and allows you to make those important decisions, especially when it comes to appointing a Guardian for your minor children in the event both parents pass away.
Whether or not you need a Trust or a Will (or both) will depend on your unique circumstances, how you wish to manage your assets during your lifetime, and your preferences for distribution of your assets after you pass. This can only be determined after a thorough consultation.
A comprehensive Estate Plan can provide not only for your assets after death, but should also provide for management of your health and assets during your life in the event you become disabled or lose the capacity to manage your own affairs. To this end, our office regularly incorporates into every Estate Plan a fully executed Health Care Proxy (designating some to make health care decisions for you if you cannot), a Living Will (designating your wishes regarding life sustaining measures in the event of terminal illness or permanent vegetative state), and a Power-of-Attorney (designating someone to take care of your finances and assets during your life in the event you cannot). With our expertise in Nonprofit Organizations, we can also provide substantial guidance related to charitable giving.
In considering your Estate Plan, special attention should be given to the preferred retention or distribution of any Real Estate holdings, Business interests or assets, and Intellectual Property as these items can often cause complexity in the Administration of your estate after you pass. A well designed Estate Plan will reduce or eliminate the need for any Litigation related to the Administration of the Estate, and make an already difficult time for your survivors much easier.
If you are the designated Trustee of a Trust, or the Executor of an estate requiring assistance with Administration of the Trust or Estate, we can help. Contact our office to schedule a consultation to discuss your Estate Planning concerns.