Developing A Complete Estate Planning Package

One of the most common questions that estate planning attorneys receive from their clients is whether they need a will or a trust. Although the client’s needs dictate how their estate plan is created and pieced together, people must take a different view of the “wills vs. trust” question. It equates to asking a financial advisor if you need a savings or retirement account. You need both because they are two separate ways of setting aside money for the future. 

The same applies to having a will and a trust. One is not universally superior to the other. Although both allow you to pass assets to your beneficiaries, there are still fundamental differences. When your estate planning attorney learns more about your goals and circumstances, they decide how they will combine specific documents based on your needs. 

Additionally, you would want to include a power of attorney and a medical power of attorney. When these documents come together, they form a better picture of what an estate planning package looks like. All these documents work together to your benefit while you are alive and after you pass away.   

How Are Wills & Trusts Different From Another?

Wills are legal documents that enable you to pass your assets to designated beneficiaries (which is something a revocable trust can accomplish too). However, you choose a guardian for your children and include that in your will, as well as naming an executor for your estate. Wills don’t take effect until after you pass away. Trusts can be used while you are still alive and offers benefits to most any estate that a will alone does not have.

When your attorney creates a revocable trust, you can put assets into it (also known as funding) for the sake of your beneficiaries. Because it is revocable, you can take assets out of it. Your attorney will discuss this with you further, but you can name yourself as the trustee. That is why you will also nominate a successor trustee to manage the trust if you pass away or become incapacitated. 

Designating a Healthcare Surrogate 

You can (and should) designate a healthcare surrogate. This can be a spouse, a friend, a parent—or any adult you trust. If you ever become incapacitated, your designated healthcare surrogate can receive confidential medical information about you and can make healthcare-related decisions on your behalf. 

Doctors are bound by HIPPA laws and cannot legally or ethically discuss your medical condition with anyone other than you. However, you and your attorney can break through that wall of protection with a properly-written health care surrogate form. 

You Should Also Create a Durable Power of Attorney 

A durable power of attorney gives someone the ability to act on your behalf on a whole host of matters, financial, real estate, hiring attorneys and other professionals. This document’s importance cannot be understated. If someone you love has become incapacitated and has neglected estate planning, you may have to go through a process of obtaining guardianship—which can be complicated and lengthy.  

Get in Touch With an Estate Planning Today 

Full Estate Plans help you when you are alive, and plan for your assets after you have passed away. When you realize how important these documents are, you won’t want to go another day without them. Suppose someone created a revocable trust and a living will. If that same person is in an accident, people now have access to that person’s money and assets. They can also make medical decisions according to what they would have wanted. Don’t make the mistake of choosing to live without an estate plan. Contact ElDeiry & ElDeiry, P.A., to schedule a consultation.

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