Importance of Having an Estate Plan

two women holding hands

By Kim Boyer | October 23, 2021

Gloria’s parents had planned ahead.  Gloria said:  “One of the best gifts that my parents gave to my siblings and me was creating a living trust and powers of attorney.  Mom has dementia and my father has been her caregiver, allowing mom to remain at home in her comfortable and familiar surroundings.  Unfortunately, my father was hospitalized due to Covid-19.  Lucky for us, my parents had their estate planning in place.  Because their assets were held in trust, as their successor Trustee, I was able to continue to pay their bills and make sure mom had all she needed for her day to day necessities.  My father’s health care power of attorney allowed me to make heath care decisions for him when he could not.  My siblings and I have watched friends and co-workers struggle to assist their parents, sometimes even needing to obtain guardianship, because there was not a trust and powers of attorney in place.”

What is a Living Trust?  A living trust is created to hold title to your assets and ultimately avoid probate upon your death.  If you become incapacitated, trust assets are held and administered for your benefit, without having a court-appointed guardian.  You can be creative in how you plan for your family to address their specific needs or your concerns and desires.  At death, assets are distributed how you want under the terms of the Trust.

What are the Advantages of a Living Trust?  A properly funded living trust avoids a lengthy probate process and can avoid guardianship.  It provides faster and easier distribution of your assets to your beneficiaries; addresses how your assets will be managed and who will manage them in the event you become incapacitated; can protect your beneficiaries; and can keep your affairs private.  It can be a gift to your family.

Is a Trust Expensive?  Creating a living trust is a one-time expense, although additional fees are usually charged if you make changes to your trust after it has been created.  There are no annual administration costs or maintenance fees.  In contrast, guardianship and probate can become quite costly.

Do I Need an Attorney?  You should consult with an experienced estate planning attorney.  At Boyer Law Group, we help our clients save money and frustration by drafting a custom estate plan.  To schedule a consultation, please contact our office at (702) 255-2000.

Disclaimer:  Information provided as a service of Kim Boyer, Certified Elder Law Attorney, updated as of 10/26/21.  It does not constitute legal advice.  For specific questions you should consult a qualified attorney.