When someone dies, they leave behind their assets that they acquired during their life. After death, these possessions have to go somewhere. If individuals die testate, this means that they have died with a valid will in place. In their will, they have outlined who their possessions will go to and this person is then granted ownership. The individual who receives these assets is called a beneficiary.
How can a will help me plan for the future?
A will is a document that provides detailed instructions on what your assigned executor should do with your estate. Through a valid will, family members are able to carry out their deceased loved one’s demands. They can find comfort knowing that they are following through with the proper demands outlined by their loved one. This will protect your belongings by putting a specific person in charge rather than having your family fight over it and having the courts get involved. The document must be in writing and signed in the presence of witnesses to prove it was made of the testator’s free will.
A living will is another option that people prepare. This is also known as a healthcare directive. For this document, individuals can write out what their medical wishes are. This can include the option for life support or even organ donation. By having this complete document, your family will not have to be responsible for making important decisions. Instead, they can just follow your wishes that are already written.
Rather than just having a written document, you may decide to have a power of attorney as well. This is also known as your agent or attorney-in-fact. The person you appoint will make decisions about your final days of medical care based on your specific wishes. Your power of attorney has as much or as little power as you wish.
What does a trust do?
A trust can also be another useful tool when planning your estate administration. This proves the will, reduces the tax consequences of the inheritance and saves time and money. There are two main categories of trust. An irrevocable trust is one that cannot be changed once they are set up. Since they cannot be changed, they provide big tax benefits for whoever inherits it. A revocable trust does not have the same benefits as an irrevocable trust since it can be changed. Within these two categories, there are even more types of trusts.
Working with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as Jaci Feldman of the Woodland Hills, California, Law Office of Yacoba Ann Feldman, will ensure that you are taken care of when you need it most. Contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation today.