Every trust plan should address three critical aspects of a family's estate, namely: a Life Plan, a Family Plan, and a Transfer Plan.
A Life Plan:
Estate planning is not simply about passing on. In fact, the largest benefit derived from estate planning for most people comes in the form of incapacity planning. Without proper incapacity provisions a family has to undergo complicated and lengthy guardianship/ conservatorship proceedings in order to help a loved one. It is a process that can tear many families apart. However, a proper trust will have provisions naming successor trustees in the case of incapacity, medical directives, and durable power of attorneys which facilitate helping a family member during their incapacity. With so many people living well into their golden years nowadays, I'm sure you'll agree that this is immensely important.
A Family Plan:
A major US newspaper recently reported that the majority of family conflicts after a loved one's death occur over personal property. Families have been torn apart when estate plans are unclear as to a loved one's wishes and siblings end up fighting for years over mom's hairbrush, or dad's wedding band, etc. A proper trust plan can make these wishes clear thorugh personal property memorandums as well as provisions intended not only to pass on family wealth, but also to pass on family values. A proper trust names guardians for minor children to make sure they will be cared for. Provisions protecting spendthrift children from themselves or providing heirs with asset protection should also be considered in your estate planning. Some families even choose to provide direction and help to generation after generation though dynasty trust provisions. Since family is the most important thing, make sure your plan is protecting them.
A Transfer Plan:
Your estate plan should evolve as your family does to make sure that your estate goes where you want it to. The last thing you want is for your trust to fail and for your estate to have to go through probate, get left to the wrong person, or be forced to pay heavy tax burdens. However, if a trust is not set up correctly each of those are very real possibilities. A proper trust plan will consider your estate's tax liability and plan accordingly to minimize it or make it disappear entirely. A proper trust will also need to be funded, meaning that the estate assets need to be placed into the trust according to distribution plans. If a trust is not funded and up to date, it might have to go through at least a limited probate anyway. Finally, a proper trust will make your intentions very clear and have alternate distribution schemes so that you know what will happen even if "Plan A" fails.
An estate plan should last you your whole life, which is why it needs to be kept up to date, kept safe, and properly drafted. You don't want just any trust plan, you want a proper, personalized trust plan. Anything else simply won't match up in either value or longevity. If you would like to review your trust plan, contact Inter Vivos at (801) 477-1570 for a consultation.
"Let Us Earn Your Family's Trust"