Trusts and Estates
Everyone should benefit from the protection of proper estate planning. These essential documents will ensure that your interests exist beyond your capacity to execute them. Estate planning will help your heirs reap the maximum benefit of your life’s work.
Many elements are included in a well-executed estate plan including the following:
- Living Trust: This is created when someone (settlor) creates a trust into which he/she titles his/her assets. The assets are placed in a Trustee’s care for the benefit of a beneficiary. The settlor can be both trustee and beneficiary and continue to enjoy the benefits of his/her assets for the indefinite future even though legal title to the assets is no longer in the settlor’s name. With a living trust, grantors are able to bypass probate so their heirs are left to enjoy their estate without the necessity of going through the court system.
- Last Will & Testament: By this document, a person is able to appoint someone to manage his/her estate and provide instructions for the distribution of his/her property upon death. In addition to asset distribution, it is also utilized to appoint a guardian over one’s person and estate in the event of incapacity and also a guardian of one’s choice in the event the person has minor children at the time of his/her death. While a Will offers many benefits, it is not utilized to bypass the probate process.
- Advance Healthcare Directive: This is a legal directive where someone specifies what actions should be taken for their health if they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves because of physical/mental illness and/or incapacity. This is an especially important document that Jacobson Law Office strongly urges all persons to prepare.
- Nomination of Guardianship: This is a legal directive where one can appoint another adult as the guardian of one’s minor children in the event of incapacity or death. Though the guardian must still be approved by the court, it is likely that your preference will be honored.