Hi, I’m Stephanie Sanchez. I’m a paralegal here at Vaksman Khalfin, PC. Today we’ll be discussing the topic of When Should I Create a Living Trust Estate Plan.
The short answer is, now. Many folks often decide to postpone their Creating A Living Trust Estate Plan for various reasons. The best time to create A Living Trust Estate Plan is when you’re healthy, when you have the opportunity to make critical decisions regarding your life and the lives of your loved ones.
Many times we think about when we’re gone when we think of living trusts estate plans. We think about when we pass away. Many times, for that reason, many folks may create wills. Wills do not avoid probate court and wills do not offer incapacity planning. If you only have a will in place, you might be forgetting about other critical documents that you should have as part of your Living Trust Estate Plan such as an advanced health care directive, a HIPAA authorization form, and a durable power of attorney.
At Vaksman Khalfin PC, we offer a wide range of estate planning documents that make up your living trusts estate plan. Many times though, folks do often create living trusts estate plans in circumstances when they’re thinking about purchasing real estate. As you may have heard, if you own a home or are thinking about owning a home, it is critical to create a Living Trust Estate Plan. Making sure it’s properly funded or titled in the name of your loving trust for probate avoidance so that you’ll be able to easily pass that asset on to your beneficiaries or your childrens, your loved ones, when you pass away.
If you are a parent with minor children, for example, it’s also critical to create a Living Trust Estate Plan so that you can nominate guardians for your minor children and you can be in charge about who you would entrust to take care of your children in the event of your passing or in the more immediate event of in an emergency, you’re able to nominate temporary guardians.
For those that do have children or those who intend to pass their assets along to younger beneficiaries, it might not be a bad idea to also implement what’s called stage distribution planning into your Living Trust Estate Plan. This will allow you to create an inheritance distribution schedule for your beneficiaries so that he or she can inherit their assets according to specific ages or specific lifetime events. For example, some parents might arrange a schedule where one-third of your trust assets are to be distributed when your child reaches the age of 22, typically around college graduation, one-third at age 25, one-third at age 30.
For those that have beneficiaries or children with special needs, it’s also critical to create a Living Trust Estate Plan now. Your attorney might offer the idea of including supplemental niche trusts language for your children. As we mentioned in our estate plans, we offer a durable power of attorney which is critical for your incapacity planning. You’re able to nominate a financial agent, somebody who can manage your finances on your behalf in the event of your incapacity.
It might not also be about the idea to have your advanced health care directive so that you can nominate somebody who you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf and carry out your end-of-life care decisions if need be. Along with that, might also include your HIPAA authorization. form, which will allow your health care agent to access your medical records and make fully informed decisions on your behalf.
Going back to the main document that we often talk about, the revocable living trust. When you create a living trust, you’re able– And when you sign it and have it notarized, it’s a document that exists now, that exists from the very day that it is executed. This is very different from your average will, which only becomes effective upon your passing.
Creating a revocable living trust now will allow you to transfer assets in and out at your convenience, such as bank accounts, real estate, stocks, other types of investment accounts. You’ll be able to include specific gifts, whether they be personal property such as jewelry, or whether they be cash gifts. You’ll also be able to include specific gifts for charities if that is something that you are striving to do.
Ultimately, when is the time to create an estate plan? When should I create a Living Trust Estate Plan? The time is now. Thank you for listening.