October 25, 2016
We spend so a lot of time worrying about our present and future finances. And no matter how much you contribute to your 401k, you feel guilty that you didn’t set enough aside.
Your estate plan doesn’t need to add to that stress.
An experienced attorney will have checklists and streamlined packages that will ensure that you address the gamut of possibilities. They also know the best ways to take advantage of the current laws to benefit your family. Here’s a preview of the most important considerations to address when putting your mind at ease with a smart estate plan.
Insurance and Pension Beneficiaries
Folks start a new job and complete the barrage of paperwork regarding their taxes, emergency contacts and pension forms. They’re too excited to have a steady paycheck. And half of them are so young that their prospective beneficiary and their emergency contact is the same person: Mom.
This is the opportunity to revisit all of those pension accounts and insurance plans to make sure the payouts are going to the right people. Maybe you’ve had children since you originally designated another relative, or you’ve gotten married. This is the time to make that adjustment and keep the issue from racking up attorney fees in a courtroom.
You can also set up your bank accounts in a certain way to avoid the probate courts. By simply adding another person to your account, the account will pass on to the other named party once they present a death certificate to the bank.
But you must be careful to protect yourself. The other account holder will have as much right of ownership as you. That means they can pull out money from that account just as easily as you can.
It also gives their creditors a new source of funds to collect from. Be sure you do your homework before handing over that level of access.
Another option that better protects your interests and wishes is a trust. You can even set up a living trust that will house all of your assets during your lifetime before handling the distribution of your estate.
It’s not difficult to establish a trust. And once all of your assets are held in the name of the trust, you can enjoy the basic benefits that come with it.
You can name a line of successors to yourself as the personal representative of the trust. This will give the person control over the assets once you have passed or are disabled depending on the wording of the trust.
You could also use a durable power of attorney. This gives someone power over all of your accounts and policies as if they were you. This document comes into effect when you are legally disabled.
Another advantage of a trust is the ability to limit access to inheritances. The personal representative will be tasked with following the guidelines you outline. That means you limit your son’s access to the money until he has graduated college or has reached a certain age.
Additionally, you can include provisions that allow your personal representative to issue payments to cover the cost of education and living in the meantime. Thus, you can provide for your beneficiaries at a level you deem appropriate to ensure his or her best chances at success.
Perhaps the biggest perk for your beneficiaries is the spendthrift clause. This protects your assets after you’ve passed from a beneficiary’s creditors. These creditors cannot make a claim against the assets held in trust until they are disbursed to the debtor, giving the beneficiary time to handle the affair and providing leverage in any settlement negotiations.
Don’t chance missing an important consideration. The attorneys at King Law have experience dealing with a multitude of different estates and can provide the guidance you need to plan accordingly. Call 1-888-748-KING to schedule your consultation today.