Variety of Estate Planning Documents by LA Probate Law
You may have heard some of the terms, Last Will and Testament, Living Will, Power of Attorney, but are not exactly sure what they are or whether you need them. From an Estate Planning perspective, these documents are essential to ensure that your assets are distributed properly and your legal interests are protected. The type of estate plan you need depends on your circumstances. The basic goal of any good estate plan is preparing for both death and incapacity. Generally this will include powers of attorney for health care and finances. It is always smart to have a will and in many instances, a living trust is also an excellent choice. LA Probate Law is experienced estate planners and can guide you through the process quickly and efficiently. We will listen to your desires, evaluate your needs and make recommendations appropriate for your circumstances.
A Living Will is a document that sets forth your wishes as to certain types of medical treatment in the event that you suffer a permanent disability that renders you incapacitated with no hope of recovery. The instance that we are talking about here is the person in a coma or permanent vegetative state. A Last Will and Testament allows you to set out your specific wishes for how you want your property and assets to be divided upon your death. It also designates who will assume guardianship responsibility of any minor children if neither parent can serve as guardian. You can use a will to make bequests to charities explains LA Probate Law. Wills are easy to prepare, but are subjected to probate process, which, depending on the size of your estate, could take some time. Probate is the court process required when you die to verify your Will, if you have one. If you don’t have a Will, this process determines who your closest blood relatives are that will inherit from you. This court process also assures debts are paid. After that, a simple Will requires only a few other things. You must name an Executor of your Will. The Executor is the person who will handle the Estate affairs after your passing. They will open an Estate, determine all of your assets and liabilities, and make distribution of those assets as per the guidelines set forth in your Will. You will also have to name a Trustee if you plan on leaving any assets to a minor. There are a few other minor legal requirements that your local attorney can assist you with in drafting your Last Will and Testament.
A trust is a way of making sure that property is held for the benefit of other people without giving them full control over it. The entity known as a trust will be essential in creating various strategies for accomplishing asset protection, estate planning, and privacy benefits says LA Probate Law. It’s set up where there is a transfer of an asset by a person (the settlor) to other people (the trustees) who must hold and administer the gifted asset (the trust fund) for the benefit of specified people (the beneficiaries) in accordance with the terms of the trust. Your wishes and plans can be changed during your lifetime as your circumstances change. By creating a customized estate plan, which includes a living trust, you will have peace of mind that your wishes will be fulfilled upon your death. Trusts are extremely flexible in form and almost any asset protection and estate planning goal can be accomplished by an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in this field. Using creative trust strategies, the planning opportunities for achieving tax savings and asset protection advantages are unlimited. The following examples will provide you with an overview of some of the techniques that can be used to achieve particular objectives in a variety of circumstances. The living trust, also known as a revocable living trust, is a written legal document similar to a will that sets forth your wishes and plans regarding matters during your life and upon your death.
Power of Attorney
You can grant a Power of Attorney to another person for any case where you cannot represent your own interests. This document gives your Agent the ability to act on your behalf in almost any type of situation that you could think of. The Agent has the ability to sign checks, transfer real estate, make medical decisions and much more. As you can see, this document is VERY powerful, and as such, the authority bestowed with it should only be granted to an individual that you trust beyond reproach. A Durable Power of Attorney, on the other hand, remains in effect if you become incompetent. In cases of terminal illness or permanent unconsciousness, you can set out health care directives for your agent, much like in a Living Will. This document becomes important in the instance where you can no longer act for yourself, or have difficulty doing so. However, you should be advised that this document takes effect immediately upon signing. Most of my clients are under the impression that this document only takes effect if they become incapacitated. That simply is not true.LA Probate Law gives example, you can send an agent to an important meeting you are unable to attend, and they may act on your behalf for the duration of that meeting.
Variety of Estate Planning Documents by LA Probate Law
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