There are many different legal devices used in the field of estate planning. The most common estate planning tool is the last will or last will and testament.
In the past, the will was used to transfer real property, and the testament was used to transfer personal property. During the current era, a last will is typically used to transfer both types of property.
A last will can be a suitable choice for some people, but there are other vehicles of asset transfer that you should take into consideration. In addition to this, there is more than one type of will. Let’s look at some of them.
Some people use revocable living trusts to transfer assets, largely because they facilitate probate avoidance.
Probate is a legal process that can be time-consuming and expensive. If you use a last will to transfer assets, the will must be admitted to probate. With a living trust, assets can be distributed in a more timely manner outside of the probate process.
If you have a revocable living trust, you should also have a pour-over will. You would want a pour-over will because all of your property may not have been conveyed into the trust. This will would allow the trust to capture assets that were in your personal possession at the time of your passing.
As a result, these assets could also be transferred to your beneficiaries outside of probate.
Your estate plan should also include a living will. This type of will is not something that is used to transfer monetary assets. With a living will, you record your wishes regarding the utilization of life-sustaining measures if you were unable to communicate while in a terminal condition.
This is a very personal decision, and it is something that you should make for yourself. If you don’t have a living will in place, your closest relative would be asked to make this decision on your behalf.
The last type of will that we will touch upon here is the ethical will. Ethical wills have been used for centuries to pass along moral and spiritual values.
When you include an ethical will in your estate plan, you are leaving behind your rules to live by. This is a gift of the heart that has immeasurable value on a number of different levels.
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If you would like to create a comprehensive estate plan, our firm can help. We offer free consultations, and we would be glad to answer your questions and help you put a personalized plan in place.
To request an appointment, send us a message through this page: Smithtown NY Estate Planning Attorney.
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You can visit our Forbes page to obtain more estate planning and elder law information: Forbes Contributor Mark Eghrari.
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