Having a properly drafted estate plan can allow you to plan for your incapacity and protect your loved ones after you die. There are several considerations one must make when considering how to best set up their estate plan, including the size of your estate, beneficiaries age and potential disabilities, and potential creditors of a beneficiary.
If you are looking for a basic estate plan, you may be interested in a will, however, keep in mind that distributing property through a will requires your loved ones to go through the probate process. Probate can be costly and requires a court case to be filed so a judge can oversee the process of distributing your assets to your beneficiaries.
If you are looking for a faster, easier, and cheaper way for your loved ones to inherit your property, then a trust will likely be of interest to you. A trust can help you plan for delayed distributions of your property to young beneficiaries, protect a beneficiary’s assets from potential creditors, and if a testamentary third party special needs trust is included, even protect a beneficiary’s governmental benefits. A trust has many benefits which our law firm can review with you.
Special Needs Trusts
If you are want to leave an inheritance to a loved one receiving governmental benefits, such as Medi-Cal, you may be interested in considering the drafting of a testamentary special needs trust. Some individuals may also want to plan for distributions to a loved one with disabilities while they are still alive. If you would like to provide assistance during your lifetime to a loved one with disabilites but are concerned about their continued eligability with governmental benefits, then an inter vivos third party special needs trust can accomplish your goals.
Advanced Health Care Directive
An advanced health care directive becomes effective during your lifetime, after you have lost capacity. It allows you to nominate an individual to carry out your health care needs based upon a set of instructions that you leave for them. If you have not considered a particular health scenario, this document will authorize the named individual to make the decision on your behalf. In order to create this document, you must currently have capacity so it is best to plan ahead.
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney becomes effective during your lifetime, after you have lost capacity. It allows you to nominate an individual to carry out your financial affairs, including accessing your bank account, making decisions related to your retirement accounts, and control your real property assets (land). In order to create this document, you must currently have capacity so it is best to plan ahead.
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