Many people think about creating a will or Estate Plan only after they retire from their service. Even though the average life expectancy of a male or female is more than 70 years, there is no guarantee that everyone will reach that age. Because Life is unpredictable and anything can happen at any moment. Do you have a dependent spouse or children? Yes ? Then, it is your responsibility to take care of them till your lifetime or even after that. So, it is wise to create an estate plan or will to make sure that your dependents can live their life comfortably in the absence of yourself.
What is an Estate Plan? Is it the same as Will? No. An estate plan is a process of directing the ownership of your assets like home, car, cash etc to one or more individuals. To put it simply, it answers the question of who will have the right to take care of your assets after you die. Creating a will or trust is part of the estate planning service. Because of the name, it doesn’t mean that you should think of estate planning only if you are rich or have more assets. It is applicable for anyone who wants to reduce the burden for their family in their absence.
For example, if you have a dependent spouse, children, and grandchildren you can split your assets to all or only to some of them. If you are a regular donor to charities, you can mention in your will or trust about how much of your assets should go to charities. Even you can mention the specific details of the charities.
Are both will and trust the same? No. Then, What is the difference between a will and trust? Which one should you choose? The main difference between a will and estate plan are given below:
1. A Trust can be made private whereas a will is always available to the public.
2. A will has to go through the process of Probate whereas a trust need not. Probate is nothing but the legal procedure through which the will has to be proven in the court to accept it as a valid document.
3. A will is executed only after you die whereas a trust takes effect when you live.
Estate planning will be very helpful if you are alone or having serious irrecoverable medical ailments. In that case, you may authorize a person to take any health care decision on behalf of you. Are you a single parent who is having minor children? Then, it is better to authorize someone as a legal guardian for your children so that they will get the necessary care in your absence. For business owners, an estate plan is very much needed to name the successor of their businesses. Without that, a family will lose the ownership in case the business owner is gone.
For disabled children or children who need regular medical attention, setting up a trust will really help to get the necessary Medicare or other government benefits in your absence. Because taking care of a special child involves more money and time.
Even though creating an estate plan may be little costly, it saves a lot of money for your family in the future as it doesn't involve the court fees, taxes etc. The Blenner Law Group is high reputation personal injury law firm based out of Palm Harbour, Florida that provides excellent estate planning service since 1986. So, it is a good idea to think and create an estate plan as early as possible when you are in an active state of mind.