1. Will or Trust?
Early in the process of creating your first estate plan, you must determine who you want to receive your assets upon your death. And from there, the manner in which these assets will be given to them.
Both a will and a trust allow you to accomplish this, but there are differences between the two. Primarily, a will goes through probate, which can be costly and time consuming. A trust is not subject to probate, so your assets are quickly passed to your beneficiary.
2. Who Will You Name as Guardian of Your Children?
If you have one or more children, you want to make sure they’ll be taken care of should you pass on before they reach the legal age of 18. The best way to do so is by naming a guardian.
The person you name as guardian will step in and care for your children, so make sure you’re 100 percent confident of the choice you make.
3. Have You Thought About Incapacity Planning?
Estate planning goes well beyond what happens to your assets upon your death. You also have to plan for a potential incapacity. In this case, you’re unable to make your own decisions, so someone else will step in on your behalf.
If you want that “someone else” to be chosen by you, it’s critical to focus on incapacity planning when creating your estate plan. For example, a financial power of attorney allows you to name an agent to manage your finances if you’re incapacitated. They can pay your bills, manage your bank accounts, invest on your behalf, and more. However, a trust often is the superior tool for incapacity planning.
For assistance with all things related to creating your first estate plan, visit the website for The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. at https://www.mrobinsonlaw.com/or by calling our office at (585) 374-5210.