If you have not started the estate planning process, there is no time like the present. There are multiple estate planning tools that can help you plan for your family's future and even for a time when you may become incapacitated. For example, a health care proxy will grant someone you trust the authority to make certain medical decisions for you in case you are unable to make such a decision yourself.
Another beneficial estate planning tool is a living trust. The following can provide you with some helpful information about living trusts and why you need one.
Protect your beneficiaries
If you own extensive property in Marietta or if you have enough assets to leave your beneficiaries a large sum of money, you may worry about how they will handle the inheritance. For example, if you have minor children or kids in college, you might be concerned that they will go through the money quickly and have nothing left within a few years. A trust will allow you to maintain some control over the property, even after your death. You will be able to include provisions that your beneficiaries should receive a predetermined allowance or that they cannot have access to the funds until a certain age or perhaps after they graduate from college.
Limit estate taxes
Another benefit of a trust is that you can reduce the amount of taxes your estate must pay after you pass away. This will also benefit your beneficiaries since it will protect their inheritance from high estate taxes. While the trust may not be able to save your estate from all federal taxes, especially if the value of your property is well into the seven figure range, it will at least reduce the tax bill so that there is more left for your beneficiaries.
Manage your property
If you become incapacitated for any reason, whether it is due to an accident or a disease like Alzheimer's, a living trust will grant your designated trustee the authority to manage your property. During the time that you are of sound mind and body, you will be able to manage the trust yourself. However, at the point where you lose your capacity to be able to make decisions, the authority to manage the trust will automatically pass to the successor trustee you have designated. In general, there will be no interruption in the management of your property since the court system does not have to become involved.
If you are thinking about estate planning, a living trust could be an invaluable tool. It will protect your property and estate in case of your death or if you become incapacitated.