A Revocable Living Trust: There are two reasons that a Revocable Living Trust fits most Estate Planning needs. First, the Revocable Living Trust facilitates probate fee avoidance. Probate fees can exceed $40,000.00 for an estate with a gross value of $1,000,000.00. Any assets that are transferred into the trust during the life of the client are not included in the probate estate and avoid inclusion in the probate fee calculation. Second, trust administration is usually simpler, faster and more private than estate administration through a public probate process.
Clients frequently ask if managing assets during their lives through a trust is more complicated than not doing so. The answer is no, assets held in a Revocable Living Trust are managed the same way that assets that are not in a Trust are managed. Assets are transferred into the name of the Trust and from that point on are accessed, spent, saved, moved just as the assets were before the transfer. Revocable Living Trusts are very common and very main-stream. Banks and financial institutions are completely familiar with the Trust method of holding assets and are very accommodating in helping clients to change title to their assets.
Pourover Will: The Pourover Will provides testamentary treatment of assets that may not have been transferred to the Trust and need to pass through probate. The Pourover will provides that any such assets should be distributed according to the distribution instruction of the Revocable Living Trust.
Nomination of Guardian: Most parents of minor children rest easier knowing that their desires for the care of their minor children are set forth in writing. A nomination of guardian gives guidance to the Court in case a decision has to be made regarding who the minor children’s physical guardian will be in case the parents are gone before the children are adults. The nomination of guardian, along with a Children’s Trust for Assets included in the Revocable Living Trust, provides a comprehensive plan for the physical care and financial needs of the children.
Advance Healthcare Directive: The Advance Healthcare Directive gives another person, usually a spouse or loved one, the authority to make decisions for medical care and treatment (or the withholding of treatment if desired) should the first person becomes incapacitated.
Durable Power of Attorney for Assets: The durable power of attorney (DPAA) gives a person the authority to conduct business affairs for another person, if he or she becomes incapacitated.