One of the primary reasons why you should discuss your family situation and your estate planning goals with an attorney is because there are many different approaches that can be taken. As a layperson, there is no reason why you should choose one course of action over another.
With this in mind, do you know that there are quite a few different types of wills that are used in our field? If you are not aware of this, keep reading, because we going to look at a number of them in this post.
The one will that everyone has heard of is the simple will, which was called a last will and testament years ago. This document is used to record your final wishes regarding the way that you want your assets to be distributed to your heirs after you are gone.
There is another responsibility that can be satisfied through the creation of a will. This facet should be eye-opening for young adults that are under the impression that estate planning is only for senior citizens.
If you are in this position, who would care for your children if both parents were to pass away suddenly? The answer is that the court would make the decision, and you would not be around to provide any input. To account for this, you can include your choice of guardian in a will.
A comprehensive estate plan will address the issues that may arise toward the end of your life. Many people become unable to communicate during this interim, so you should definitely take the right steps to prepare for this eventuality.
One of the documents that should be part of an incapacity plan is a living will. This is an advance directive for health care, and it is used to state your life-support preferences. You can include choices for mechanical respiration, resuscitation, feeding tubes, and artificial hydration.
It is possible to go a step further when you are executing your living will. If you have comfort care medication choices, you can make your wishes known. Many people are willing to donate organs and tissue if the need is there, and this is another decision that you can record in the document.
Pour Over Will
When you discuss your options with an estate planning attorney, you may come to the conclusion that a revocable living trust is the best choice as your estate plan centerpiece. There are advantages to be gained if you choose a living trust over a last will.
One of them is the ability to include spendthrift protections. You could add a spendthrift provision that would protect the principal from the beneficiary’s creditors.
Another major advantage is the avoidance of probate. This is a time-consuming and expensive legal process that strips your family of privacy, because it is public. All these drawbacks are avoided when you use a revocable living trust, because the trustee can distribute assets outside of probate.
Even if you have a living will, you may pass away while you are still in direct personal possession of some property. To account for this, you can add a pour over will to complete the plan. This would allow the trust to absorb any assets that you never conveyed into it while you were alive.
An ethical will is not legally binding, and it has nothing to do with health care matters or monetary transfers. At the same time, it can be an extraordinarily moving addition to your estate plan that can be described as priceless.
With an ethical will, you record the moral and spiritual values that you have lived by throughout your life. This will provide a guidepost that can be accessed by your loved ones after you are gone.
If you are ready to discuss your estate planning objectives with a licensed attorney, we are here to help. You can schedule a consultation right now if you call us at 631-265-0599, and there is a contact form on this website you can use to send us a message.