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Do I need any estate planning?
Do you care who would manage your finances and make decisions for your medical care if you become mentally or physically disabled? Do you want your property to be transferred after your death to your loved ones with as little taxes and expenses as possible? If you answered “yes” to at least one of the above questions, you probably need some form of estate planning to address disability and care decisions, to minimize estate taxes, and to keep settlement of your assets out of probate court.
What is a Will?
Will is a legal document, which specifies how your estate must be divided in case of your death and who should be guardians of your minor children, as well as provides all other instructions. Will becomes effective only after your death. Will often must be formally verified or proven by a probate court and results in substantial probate fees and extended period of time before your assets can be distributed to your loved ones.
Why would I need a Trust?
Trust avoids the costs and time of a probate. Revocable trust can be modified or terminated at any time, as opposed to irrevocable trust, which generally cannot be changed. A trust allows the property of a deceased person to be transferred to beneficiaries in a short period of time. In addition, a trust can ensure the smooth transition and management of a person’s financial affairs if an individual becomes physically or mentally incapacitated.
What is a Power of Attorney?
Power of Attorney (Financial or for Health Care) is a legal document where you authorize someone else to act for you. It can either be effective immediately or only after you become ill or incapacitated. Power of Attorney ends at incapacity (unless it is a durable power of attorney) or death.
What are the reasons to create a Special Needs Trust (SNT)?
Special Needs Trust is used by people who have a special needs child. If you leave your property to your special needs child without creation of such trust, your child will most likely become ineligible for any government help and your assets might be depleted very quickly. If you leave your property to your trusted person hoping that such person would take
care of your child, it is possible that your assets will be lost in a process of divorce or will go to such person’s heirs in case of his or her death. Having a special needs trust, on the other side, will allow your child to continue to receive governmental financial and medical help for all necessary needs and to use your property on the child’s additional needs, such as travel, entertainment, etc.
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