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Making your estate planning a priority is important and should not be put off. The limited nature of our time on Earth means that some people may have less time than anticipated. To make sure your loved ones get the care they need and your assets are distributed the way you want, you need to make legal documents like a will that are specifically made for estate planning. It is highly recommended that you seek the counsel of a Dickinson wills and trusts lawyer to help you develop a comprehensive plan for handling this process.
If you were playing a game of Family Feud and the survey asked respondents to name the most common estate planning documents, you might assume that the most popular response would be a will. Even if they do not have one, most people understand that having a will is synonymous with having an estate plan. After all, a will is a legal document that specifies your wishes for the distribution of your assets following your death.
On the other hand, the survey may have predicted that a trust is a considerably less well-known estate planning document. While trusts may not immediately come to mind when thinking about estate planning, they may be the most important part of any comprehensive strategy.
A trust is an agreement that is created during your lifetime and used to hold property for the benefit of another person or persons. A trust is a separate legal entity, separate from the person who creates it and the people who benefit from it.
The person who establishes the trust, known as the “grantor,” decides the trust’s terms, and a “trustee” then oversees the trust.
The trustee is a person or organization that holds legal title to the trust assets and manages the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries are the people who benefit from the trust and those who are going to receive the assets held in the trust after the grantor dies.
Do I Need Both A Will And A Trust?
Not only should you have a will and trust, but you should also be certain to include a power of attorney, a living will, and a health care proxy.
Thinking of the key components of a comprehensive estate plan as you would a building is one of the best ways to fully understand how they relate to one another. Imagine a well-constructed building, with each component representing a different part that contributes to its overall strength and functionality.
- The will is like the foundation, providing the essential groundwork for your estate plan. It establishes the distribution of your assets and appoints guardians for minor children, if necessary.
- Envision the trust as the sturdy walls and roof of the building. It offers an additional layer of protection and security for your assets, much like the walls that shield the building from external elements. The trust allows for efficient asset management, potential tax benefits, and privacy.
- The power of attorney is like the electrical system, providing the necessary power and authority to handle financial and legal matters on your behalf. It ensures that your affairs are managed effectively, even if you become incapacitated.
- Lastly, health care directives, such as a living will or health care proxy, are like the windows and doors of the building. They allow for the flow of information between you and your healthcare providers, so that your medical decisions are based on your wishes. They provide guidance and instructions for your medical care and end-of-life decisions, ensuring that your healthcare preferences are honored and followed.
Just as a well-constructed building requires a solid foundation, sturdy walls, a reliable electrical system, and functional windows and doors, a comprehensive estate plan possesses all of these components to create a comprehensive structure that protects your assets, manages your affairs, and ensures your well-being throughout your lifetime and beyond.
Give The Law Office Of Michelle E. Murphy A Call Today
Making the decision to create a will and trust is an important step that can have profound effects on your family’s future. It is crucial to choose an attorney who understands the sensitivity of this process, as it often stirs up emotions and has far-reaching consequences. At The Law Office of Michelle E. Murphy, you can rely on a highly experienced lawyer with over two decades of extensive experience handling wills and trusts. With her vast knowledge of estate planning, she approaches each client’s needs individually, recognizing the deeply personal nature of these legal documents. To make things easier for clients, Michelle offers complimentary initial consultations where she provides guidance on how to get started with the process. Don’t put off your family’s future any longer. Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation session and learn how we can help you.
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