Estate planning is not all about who gets your stuff when you pass away. Estate planning should include a plan to take care of you during your lifetime. Once an individual turns 18 years old, the parents are no longer legally able to make certain decisions (financial and medical) for the adult. Therefore, estate planning is crucial for adults of all ages.
Your estate planning should include the following essential documents: General Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, HIPAA Authorization, Advance Directive for Health Care, Personal Property Memorandum, Will, (potentially a) Trust, and a home for all of your assets.
People think about distributing their property in two ways when they pass away: a Will or a Trust. However, people often confuse the difference between the two or confuse which one they may need for their situation. Your Will does not keep your estate out of probate; it simply acts as a guide for the court during the probate process. Although a Will must be probated in court, there are ways to avoid the probate process, and we would love to help you accomplish that!
On the other hand, a Trust works like a binding contract and allows you to appoint people to manage your assets in the event you are unable. The person(s) you appoint to be your Trustee (manager) should be someone you trust because, unlike a probate, there is no court supervision over this individual.
It may seem like a lot to consider when deciding between a Will and a Trust, but Alleman Law is up for the challenge, and we want to assist you in finding the best home for all of your assets!