If you have recently become a parent for the first time, it is likely that you will feel slightly overwhelmed by the range of responsibilities that you now have. Like many new parents, you will probably have a new perspective on the future. You will want to make sure that your child is cared for and protected, no matter what the future brings.
Many individuals find the estate planning process daunting. One reason is because it forces them to contemplate their own death. Others find that the various legal options available to them in the estate planning process are overwhelming. Yet, by learning more about how to engage in effective estate planning, individuals can better rest assured that their assets will be distributed according to their wishes upon death. This, in turn, can give peace of mind.One tool that is often utilized in estate planning is the irrevocable trust. This type of trust allows an individual to place assets in the trust for many reasons, including avoiding estate taxes. When assets are transferred to the trust, the trust's creator loses all ownership. Since the trust is irrevocable, all actions are final and cannot be modified. However, an individual can place all kinds of restrictions and conditions upon the assets that are placed into the trust. These conditions and restrictions can dictate how assets will be used and under what conditions they can be distributed to beneficiaries.While an irrevocable trust carries tax benefits, these are not the only benefits available to those who utilize this type of trust. Another major benefit is the fact that an irrevocable trust can reduce an individual's assets, thereby allowing him or her to qualify for certain government programs such as Medicaid. This means that the decision whether to utilize his trust is sometimes reduced to a cost-benefit analysis.An irrevocable trust is just one of many trusts available to those engaging in estate planning. Each trust type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Becoming familiar with each is the best way to ensure that one's plan is holistic and in furtherance of his or her vision for the estate. Attorneys who are experienced in this field of law can help advise and guide individuals through these sometimes confusing legal waters.
Last week on the blog we talked about how to handle hard assets like family heirlooms during estate planning. This can be a difficult task considering the fact that these assets often carry significant sentimental value. This means that many individuals may want to acquire those assets upon your passing, and deciding whom to leave such assets can be challenging. Therefore, you need to take care when determining how you want to distribute those assets upon your passing so that they are handled exactly as you'd like them to be.This, after all, is the challenge of estate planning. To start, you need to envision the future of your estate and your loved ones. Then, you need to develop strategies that seek to bring that vision into reality. This often means utilizing a number of legal vehicles, including wills and trusts.An attorney who is experienced and skilled in estate planning can help guide you through the process. He or she can advise you as to the advantages and disadvantages of each estate planning tool and create a legal strategy that supports your best interests. Therefore, before signing off on a finalized plan, you should have a full understanding of what each trust entails, as well as each will provision, including the conditions placed upon distribution of assets.By working with a legal professional you trust, you can rest assured that you're estate will be handled in accordance with your wishes. This is no small thing, as far too many people fail to adequately plan for the distribution of their estate on their passing. This is why the legal team at our law firm is dedicated to helping individuals and their families create customized legal strategies that work for them.