It is often said that there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. While there is nothing we can do to avoid either one of these, we can make things easier for our loved ones with the help of an estate planning or trust attorney. This article will explain the importance of estate planning and how wills and trusts can help dispense with property in the event we pass.
Unfortunately, many people do not understand the importance of having a will. While having a will is not a legal requirement, it may be a good idea. If a person does not have a will, then their possessions will be dispensed with by a court through the probate process in a manner proscribed by statute. This scenario may not appeal to many people. For these people, a creating a will is advisable. A will is a legal document that determines precisely how a person’s property will be distributed once they pass. Though creating a will is a relatively inexpensive and easy procedure, the requirements for creating a will are different in each state. Thus, when creating a will, it is important to work with a licensed estate planning attorney to ensure the will is valid in the eyes of the law.
Another way property can be dispensed with is through a trust. While, many people may be familiar with the term, most still do not understand what a trust is. A trust is a legal relationship whereby a person, called a trustee, looks after the property of another person, called a settlor, for the benefit of yet another person, called the beneficiary. While this may seem rather complicated, there are certain advantages to trusts. For one, there may be certain tax benefits to putting property into a trust. Second, by giving property to a trustee for the benefit of the beneficiary, the settlor can ensure that the property is dispensed with and used in a means intended rather than according to the beneficiary’s whim. This can be especially useful when one wants to set up a college fund for a child and only want them to use the money for education rather than on frivolous purchases. A trust attorney can discuss the advantages and disadvantages in greater depth. If a person decides that a trust is for them, a trust attorney can also help a person set up a trust.
If you are worried about what will happen to your estate if and when you die then meeting with an estate planning or trust attorney can go a long way towards putting your mind at ease. The information obtained within this article is not, nor is intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. More like this blog.