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Estate Planning Strategies That Provide Peace of Mind

 Posted on February 08, 2023 in Estate Planning

yorkville estate planning lawyerYorkville Living Trust Lawyers: Living Trust Avoid Probate Court and Provide Privacy Features

Estate planning is increasing in popularity, and utilizing the correct strategies is essential. This article will discuss estate planning strategies that provide peace of mind. Avoiding probate court is a crucial concern for most people because they want to avoid the drama or excessive attorney's fees and court costs that embody probate court.

1st Strategy: Living Trust, otherwise known as a "Revocable Living Trust."

A Living Trust is an agreement that provides a framework for management and distribution. Unlike a last will, a living trust is a private legal document that does not go through probate court. The probate court determines one's heirs and legatees and decides who has the power to distribute one's assets in case of their death. Probate court can be lengthy and expensive, where parties hire attorneys to advance their interests. Estate litigation attorneys are expensive and cost thousands of dollars in legal fees and court costs.

A Living Trust is a legal document set up by a single person or a couple to hold legal title to the property and manage their property. Trustors are creators of a living trust, and the persons or institutions that govern the written trust document called a “trust agreement” are called “trustees.”.

A trustee is appointed to manage and distribute the contents of a living trust. One of the fundamental requirements of the Living trust is the funding of the trust. Trust funding entails re-titling one's assets into the Living trust's name. By placing a person's assets into the Living trust's name, the trustee bypasses probate court and provides a smooth transition upon one's death or incapacity. Generally, at the inception of the Living trust, the trustee is the trustor or the person (or persons) that set up the Living trust.

The Trust Agreement should set up alternative trustees called "successor trustees," which are responsible for the administration of the property in the trust's name upon the initial trustor's incapacity or death. A successor trustee is typically a person's trusted family member or close friend who follows the instructions outlined by the living trust agreement.

The primary benefit of the Living trust is the avoidance of probate court and the smooth transition of one's assets upon incapacity or death. Unlike a last will, a living trust does not require to go through the probate court process to be effective. With a last will, the last will must admit into probate court to be effective. The probate court process can be lengthy, adversarial, and expensive, especially considering when estate litigation attorneys are involved.

2nd Strategy: Understanding Powers of Attorney for Healthcare 

A power of attorney appoints another person as the "attorney," who makes healthcare decisions when they are incapable of making them. A power of attorney, otherwise known as the "attorney in fact," is given the authority to make specific health-related decisions. By creating a "durable" power of attorney, your attorney will make critical medical decisions when you cannot make those decisions. Your attorney can also assist you in making medical decisions when you feel it is essential to have another person assist you in health decisions. Your agent makes medical care decisions such as hospitalization, medicine, hospital treatment, and other medical decisions. Your agent also can make determinations such as end-of-life care and other end-of-life decisions.

3rd Strategy: Appointing A Financial Power of Attorney

The second significant type of power of attorney is a statutory short-form power of attorney for property, otherwise known as a "financial power of attorney." This type of power of attorney enables a person called "an agent" to make essential financial decisions such as the following:

  • Access to Financial Records such as bank statements and other financial documents

  • Ability to deposit and withdraws social security funds.

  • Ability to sell property such as stocks, bonds, and real estate.

  • Make a financial budget and financial decisions on how one spends their monies.

  • Address any issues dealing with money and finances.

  • Coordinate bill payments and check signing ability.

A financial power of attorney manages one's financial affairs when needed. Generally, a power of attorney becomes effective upon one's inability to make critical decisions for themselves. The benefit of appointment a financial power of attorney is to ensure a smooth process in case you need someone to assist you in paying your bills and taking care of your finances. A power of attorney has financial responsibilities and capabilities that are taken when a person cannot perform these tasks due to a medical impairment. The power of attorney for property provides peace of mind by knowing that your financial affairs are managed responsibly by someone you trust. A power of attorney for finances also can assist you in avoiding financial problems which could threaten your financial solvency, such as non-payment of a mortgage or a decrease in credit score due to your inability to help yourself.

Additionally, the financial power of attorney saves your family money and time by avoiding the court process called "guardianship court." Guardianship court is the court process, which determines who can make permanent and temporary financial decisions, otherwise known as "guardianship of the estate". As a guardian of the estate, the court appoints a person that makes financial decisions. These financial decisions are monitored and approved by the guardianship court judge.

Contact Your Yorkville Living Trust Lawyer: Creating Estate Planning Strategies That Provide Peace of Mind and Economic Security

At Peace of Mind Asset Protection, LLC, we provide peace of mind and advise people on the best estate planning strategies for their particular situations. This article discussed basic estate planning strategies. We also employ advanced estate planning, estate and gift taxation, and other asset protection methods that provide a well-thought-out structure that smoothly transfers one's assets. We are skilled and knowledgeable estate planning attorneys that can customize your estate plan to your particular concerns and situation. We will educate you about your available legal options and needs and map out estate planning strategies that meet your needs. Call us now at 630-882-2467 or fill out one of the online forms.

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