Wills and living trusts are two of the most commonly utilized estate planning devices. However, they are not the only options.
When you use a will your estate must be probated before your heirs receive their inheritances. Many people assume that they will receive their inheritances from the executor immediately.
It is possible to arrange for assets transfers outside of probate if you understand your options.
Different people have different estate planning concerns, and you should proceed in an informed manner. For example, you may mistakenly believe that a living trust provides certain benefits.
You retain incidents of ownership when you convey assets into a living trust. As a result, these resources are not protected from creditors or claimants. They are also considered to be part of your estate for tax purposes.
However, a living trust does facilitate the transfer of assets outside of probate. Alternate steps can be taken to protect assets and/or gain estate tax efficiency.
There are do-it-yourself estate planning websites that sell you generic legal documents. You can purchase a download or worksheet, but are you creating the correct document given your needs?
Then there is the matter of the validity of the document that you do create. Is the probate court going to recognize this do-it-yourself will as being valid if someone was to step forward to contest it? Would you recognize conflicting clauses if you saw them?
You are taking a risk when you decide to plan your own estate using a generic document that you buy online. We have created a report that explains the dangers.
We invite you to download this report free of charge. Arranging for the distribution of your assets to your loved ones is a profound act, and you should make fully informed decisions.
To obtain access to your copy of the report click here: DIY Estate Planning Report.