I really need to get an estate plan done, but isn’t it complicated? No, it’s simple. Let’s talk about two basic documents: Durable Power of Attorney; and a Living Trust.
A durable power of attorney is important. And if that is true, it is important NOW. A durable power of attorney document says, “while I’m alive, among other things, if something happens to me that my ability to take care of myself begins to fade, I want to appoint help. I want this person to take care of my finance and business decisions. I want to appoint this person to care for my health needs. If he or she becomes unable to do so, then I name this person as my backup.”
See another video for why a durable power of attorney is important and how the lack of such a document can prove pretty complicated if something happens. See Durable Power of Attorney video.
A Living Trust can do so many things for you, and for the most part, here are the big questions I’ll have for you:
- Do you want to preserve your spouse/significant other’s ability to use all Trust assets after your death;
- Who should be Trustee after both of you pass away (many people select one of their children, who will be bound by the Trust language for how and to whom assets are used or distributed); and
- After both of you have passed away, who should get your assets and how; and YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU LIKE with this, for example:
Pass an asset outright or divided, for instance, our home divided among our children;
Maybe you want to set aside X % or dollars to be divided among children or grandchildren for education;
You can give your grand-daughter what remains after her education fund a percentage at age 22, more at age 25, and remainder at age 30, for example; or
Perhaps you will leave a % or certain amount to a charity in your name. See “How does a Trust even work” video.
It does not take long to talk with you. I will simply learn how you want to leave a legacy for your family. And that is the HARD part for you. Not so hard, really just a conversation. Then I draft the documents and you sign. You will return home with the peace of mind that someone can take care of things when something happens to you, and that you have put a plan in place to fund your life, and your legacy, and to avoid probate once or twice, in the process.
I hope this helps you.
I’m Dan Covington and you can always find me at Estate Plan Kansas.