A basic estate plan will address the issue of asset transfers, and it will also include an incapacity planning component. In this blog post, we will take a look at the rudiments, but a well constructed estate plan will be custom crafted to suit the individual needs of the planner.
Many people reduce estate planning to the creation of a last will. You can use a will to state your wishes regarding the way that you want your assets to be transferred after you pass away, and you could nominate a guardian to care for your children if you have dependents still in your home.
A last will can be a suitable choice for some people, but there are limitations when you use a will, and a will must be admitted to probate. This is a legal process that can be time-consuming and expensive.
Revocable Living Trusts
A revocable living trust is another viable option as an estate planning tool. The person who creates the trust can act as the trustee and the beneficiary at first, so there is no loss of control, and the grantor has the power to dissolve the trust entirely.
When the trust agreement is being constructed, the grantor will name a successor trustee and a successor beneficiary. After the death of the grantor, the successor trustee would be empowered to transfer assets to the successor beneficiary or beneficiaries.
These distributions would not be subject to the probate process. Plus, the grantor can instruct the trustee to distribute limited resources over an extended period of time to prevent inheritance squandering.
More Advanced Solutions
There are more advanced asset transfer solutions that can be implemented under some circumstances. High net worth individuals may be exposed to estate taxes, and there are strategies that can be implemented that provide estate tax efficiency.
A special needs trust can be used to set aside assets for the benefit of a loved one with a disability who is enrolled in government benefit programs. Asset protection trusts are also used by some people, and there are advanced techniques that can be used by family business owners who want to balance inheritances.
These are a few examples, but there are estate planning solutions that can be used to satisfy any set of concerns.
Planning for possible incapacity late in your life should also be part of the equation when you are devising your estate plan. There are steps that you can take to empower representatives to act on your behalf if you become unable to handle your own affairs at some point in time.
Schedule a Free Consultation
If you are ready to take action, our firm can help. We offer free consultations, and you can send us a message through this page to set up an appointment: Hartford CT Estate Planning Attorneys.