Estate Planning FAQ’s
Estate planning can be a very complicated legal arena for planning. Devices can range from the Simple Will to complex asset distribution, protection and tax saving estate plans. Mr. Frommer will answer some of your basic concerns in this very important field of law.
Who needs to do estate planning?
Unfortunately the majority of Americans die without an estate plan, probably under the mistaken assumptions that planning is too expensive and the law will take care of everything in a satisfactory manner. Estate planning is not just for the rich. Certainly every family and most individuals should have plan which range from a Will to a Revocable Living Trust. The cost for basic plans is usually less than $2,000.00 and includes documents to ensure your assets are disposed according to your wishes and protect you in case of incapacity, disability and death. The absence of a plan may result in unnecessary delay, inconvenience, court intervention and thousands of dollars in fees and costs which could have been avoided.
What documents are created in a basic Estate Plan?
A typical estate plan for a family will consist of a Revocable Living Trust (RLT), Certification or Abstract of Trust, Pour-Over Wills, Advance Health Care Directives (health issues), Durable Power of Attorney (financial issues), HIPAA Authorizations and burial instructions. If the family or individual owns real estate, the properties are transferred into the RLT by a new Trust Transfer Deed and recorded with the County Recorder’s office.
What happens if I don’t have an Estate Plan?
Without a will or a trust, upon a person’s death, that person=s assets are disposed of according to State law, called the law of intestacy. Assets will go to spouses, children and heirs according to certain percentages which may not reflect the intentions of the decedent. Furthermore, there will be no opportunity to select guardians for minor children, select a person to handle the details of distributing the estate or management of the financial affairs of the estate according to specific direction.
What are the advantage of a Revocable Living Trust over a Will?
Although initially more expensive to set up, the RLT will have substantial costs savings as it will help avoid probate as it is the legal owner of the property. Probate will usually drain the estate of between 5%-8% of its value for attorneys fees, executor fees and court costs. In addition, your plan remains private, the transfer of property is much quicker, provides for management of assets by a trustee if you are unable to do so due to health reasons and avoids will contests and family disputes.
There are many other issues involving the estate planning process. Failure to plan can result in unnecessary delay in the distribution of your assets and costs and expenses that could have been avoided through proper planning. Please schedule an appointment to meet with Mr. Frommer, where he can learn about your case and answer all the questions you may have.