By Doug Sisson, W M Law Paralegal
Misconception #1 – Estate Planning is only for old people
Accidents happen, unless you are immortal… A living trust is an important tool to safeguard a single person or family of any age. Think of a trust as your “invisible buddy” that can speak for you when you are unable to. A living trust not only guards your assets, it guides your loved ones and keeps them from guessing as to your intentions. Another valuable tool is managing money should you leave your estate to a young person or even a minor child. With a trust you can appoint a person to manage the trust until your children (or grandchildren) are of an age you decide.
Misconception #2 – Estate Plans are for the Ultra Wealthy 1% of the Population
If you own property, you need an estate plan. A Revocable “Living” Trust is a very versatile tool to help divide and protect your assets and leave instructions for your own healthcare as well as others. A living trust can benefit you in many of the following ways:
- Avoiding Probate: Probate litigation is a costly and lengthy process your loved ones will want to avoid.
- Avoiding Taxes: A Trust will avoid your loved ones incurring major taxes for gifts, transferred property, and retirement accounts.
- Asset Protection from Creditors: There is a high-chance you will incur medical debts should you become ill. A trust safeguards your assets from medical liens and other creditors.
- Healthcare: Instructions for your own healthcare, as well as the care for others such as minors, special needs family members, or elderly needing medical care.
- Special Instructions: should you become incapacitated you may leave instructions as to your wishes for division of property, medical care, how your remains will be handled, and even how your social media accounts or pets will be taken care of.