If a family member or friend has asked you to serve as trustee for their trust either during their life or upon their death, it's a big honor—this means they consider you among the most honest, reliable, and responsible people they know. However, you should know that being a trustee takes a major responsibility, and the role is definitely not applicable to everyone. Here's why!
One of your primary goals is to keep your family out of court and out of conflict no matter what happens to you. Yet, as you can see, if your family has to go through probate, your estate plan falls woefully short of that goal, leaving your loved ones most stuck in an unnecessary, expensive, time-consuming, and public court process. By having a comprehensive estate plan, you can help your loved ones avoid probate altogether or at least make the process extremely simple for them.
Divorce can be one of life's most stressful events. With so many major changes taking place, it's easy to forget to update your estate plan—or simply put it off until it's too late. After all, dealing yet with another lawyer is probably the last thing you want to do. However, neglecting to update your estate plan for divorce can have tragic consequences. And you shouldn't wait until the divorce is final to rework your plan—you should update it as soon as you realize the split is inevitable.
No matter how well you think you know your loved ones, it's impossible to predict exactly how they'll behave when you die or become incapacitated. No one wants to believe that their family members would ever end up fighting one another in court over inheritance issues, but the fact is, we see it all the time. The best way to deal with estate planning disputes is to do everything possible to prevent family conflicts from making sure they never occur in the first place.
While both wills and trusts are the most commonly used estate planning vehicles to pass on wealth and other assets to your loved ones, putting your home in a trust has several distinct benefits compared to using a will. However, each family's circumstances are different. This is why your Personal Family Lawyer® will not create any documents until we know what you need and what will be the most affordable solution for you and your family—now and in the future—based on your family's conditions.
When you hear the words "trust fund," do you conjure images of stately mansions and party yachts? A trust fund - or trust - is a great estate planning tool for many people with a wide range of incomes who want to accomplish a specific purpose with their money. There are many reasons to create a trust, and being rich isn't necessarily one of them. You just need to consult an estate planning attorney to help you identify the best unique strategies for you and your family.