When you’ve worked a lifetime to create a legacy, you want to make sure you provide for the people you love. A good estate plan could give you peace of mind and prepare you and your family well-enough for the future. Let a Ringgold trust and estates lawyer work with you and help you understand and implement your vision for the future.
While it may be challenging to think about a debilitating illness or eventual death, there is no better gift you can give your family than direction and clarity. With the aid of a dedicated trust and estates law firm, you and your loved ones could find that sense of security and account for the uncertainty of things to come with a comprehensive plan.
An estate plan consists of several crucial legal documents. A Ringold trust law firm could create these documents and other vital components of an estate plan.
Most people are familiar with a will but may not understand the importance or function of this document. A will appoints an executor to carry out the testator’s wishes regarding distribution of their estate. When one has small children, the will can appoint a guardian and trustee to manage their care. If an individual dies without a Will, the state directs the distribution of assets according to law.
Although a will becomes effective upon death, an estate plan created by an estate attorney consists of other documents with instructions in case an individual becomes incapacitated. If someone is unable to make decisions, a financial power of attorney (POA) appoints an agent to assume responsibility for that person’s financial welfare. The POA allows the agent to do things like pay bills, sell real estate, access financial accounts, and transfer title to property. The agent can be a trusted family member or friend, or an institution, such as an estates law firm.
A healthcare POA or advance medical directive also appoints an agent, but this is limited to healthcare decisions. The agent can review medical records and make treatment options that align with the principle’s wishes. Estate lawyers know that this direction could help families in times of stress and grief. Without understanding a person’s wishes about end-of-life care, families can fall into conflict and confusion. After a Ringgold estates lawyer prepares a healthcare POA, the individual should distribute it to family, their hospital, and medical providers.
Another crucial asset management tool in an estate plan is a living trust. This is a legal instrument that directs what happens in the event of incapacity or death. When creating a trust, a trust lawyer could assist in transferring title of property to the trust itself. Most importantly, though, a living trust avoids probate.
Probate is the process where a court distributes a decedent’s assets. A will goes through the probate court and becomes a matter of public record. The court will grant the executor the power to sell and transfer assets, overseeing the process to make sure it reflects the decedent’s intentions. All assets in a living trust, however, avoid probate altogether. This gives the trustee and beneficiaries both power and privacy.
Living trusts are essential instruments in a comprehensive estate plan. There are several kinds of trusts focusing on specific factual situations, for instance:
A trust attorney and trust law firm know which circumstances require a living trust, keeping plans out of probate and giving control to the trustee, not the courts.
While planning for the future is often overwhelming, that should not prevent you from doing so. With the right help, you could account for the unknown and rest assured that your legacy remains intact.
When you plan your future, you need to consider relying on the experience of trust attorneys and estate lawyers who could help. A Ringgold trust and estates lawyer could review your overall financial plan and incorporate your wishes into a thorough estate plan, so call right away.