Many homeowners I meet do not have their home and investment property assets in a living trust. A trust facilitates a smooth transition in the future when you are no
longer around to manage these important assets. Your pre-designated trustee can
manage your assets immediately upon your incapacity without the delay, confusion
and frustration of court action. One day every single one of us will no longer
manage the assets that outlive us. You can protect your home and family through estate planning.
Setting up a living trust is an inexpensive way to make tomorrow's decisions
today, insuring a smooth transition in a future time of crisis for those around
you by estate planning now. Make it an early New Year Resolution to prepare or update your trust.
A full trust package includes all anticipated estate planning needs; A trust, a
pet trust (if applicale) A will, A durable power of attorney for finances, advanced
healthcare directive and all asset transfer paperwork. Domestic partners especially
need this protection since State and Federal family law varies on dissolution of assets without estate planning.
Below are excerpts from Santa Rosa Attorney Lisa Graetz's FAQ's on her website www.graetzlaw.com
Lisa is knowledgeable, passionate and compassionate about Estate Planning and protecting your home and family. Call
her at 707.849.1532 for a complementary introduction on how planning can benefit
you and protect your assets.
What does "Estate Planning" mean?
Estate Planning simply means to plan out what you want done with your assets when
you die. There are a multitude of things that can be done with proper estate planning,
such as taking advantage of the current tax law to lessen your tax obligation upon
your death. You will have control of how the money/assets are distributed, ensure
your pets are taken care of, and indicate end of life choices.
What constitutes an Estate?
Everything you own. Anything you are making payments on, have in retirement, have
in the bank, or any business you own, any life insurance policy, stocks, bonds,
real estate, and all your "stuff" are part of your estate.
What is the difference between a will and a trust ?
A will takes effect only at death. Once you die the person who you choose to handle your
will (the Executor) will carry out the instructions you set forth in your will.
A trust takes effect once it is created and assets are transferred into it. Should you become
incapacitated, the trustee (the person you choose to manage the trust when you
can't) can step in and pay bills, run businesses, manage assets etc., on your behalf
until you are back on your feet again. When you die, this person will carry out
the instructions you set forth in the trust regarding management of the assets
and distribution of assets and money.
Why do I need a trust when "I don't have anything?"
Most of us don't realize that a home, life insurance, assets, and bank accounts
add up to quite a bit, and in fact, is a lot of "something." With the changing
tax laws, it is practical tax planning to use the tax shelters to keep the government
from taking your hard earned money and assets versus leaving it to someone or some
thing that you care about.
I don't have anyone to leave anything to, why do I need a will or a trust?
The county where you die will end up administering your estate when you expire.
The officers of the court who are assigned to manage your estate will attempt
to find your distant relatives and when found, divide the estate according to
that particular state's law of inheritance. A large portion of the estate will
go to pay the court officers to handle this and the remainder will go to the long
lost relatives you either didn't know or didn't like. If no one is found, the
money goes to the state after the officers of the court are paid. Wouldn't you
rather have a good friend(s) or your favorite charity get your home and/or assets?
Establish a living trust today and protect your most valuable assets for your most valuable loved ones.
Looking out for your best interest,
Home Loan Navigator