Protecting your Home and Family through Estate Planning

Mortgage and Lending with First Priority Financial NMLS# 252190
      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
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,
Kathy Hoare
Home Loan Navigator

Comments (2)

Jeremy Gryvatz
RealWorks Residential Brokerage - Manalapan, NJ

I have run into problems with estates nonstop lately. The children of these deceased homeowners rarely agree on terms of sale and when their are too many voices it becomes impossible to get things done. Its worse when I am working with the buyer only and I am not able to reach the sellers my self to pitch them on the offer.

Dec 09, 2010 04:58 AM
Pat Champion
John Roberts Realty - Eustis, FL
Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs

This is a good idea for all of us to do I know we don't like to think of this but it is so important to have it completed.

Dec 09, 2010 05:02 AM