Why is a Will necessary?
Consider a Will to be your instructions to the probate court. If you don’t set forth the instructions you want, the court will have “default” rules for your estate and you probably will not like them.
Who Needs a Trust?
A Trust is highly recommended when minor children or grandchildren are involved, if extended distribution is desired, or if beneficiaries have creditor problems.
Can I use POD/TOD as a simple estate plan?
Occasionally, use of Payable On Death (POD) / Transfer On Death (TOD) on accounts works just fine. It is easy, cheap and effective. Problems quickly arise when people die in a different order than expected. A simple estate plan is better.
Is a Trust more private than a Will?
A Will is always public record and anyone can get a copy of a filed Will. A Trust is a private document and is not subject to the same public scrutiny.
Will my estate be subject to taxes?
Only estates greater than $5.6 million are subject to estate taxes. (The 2018 tax law doubled this amount for periods between 1/1/2018 and 12/31/2025, then it is scheduled to lower again). However, probate is estimated to cost 5% - 10% of the estate value. Complete Probate avoidance is usually the goal.
Should I choose the same person to help me on my Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive?
The personality traits recommended for a POA agent are very different than those which make a good health care agent. Discuss your specific situation with us and we can give advice.
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