Age is a slippery slope. The older you get, the more dependent you are on others. At some point, you cannot depend on yourself at all.
Around 60-years-old, there is a 7% chance you will suffer from dementia. Two decades later, and it is more likely you will have dementia than you will not. By then, your decision-making is not trustworthy.
Let your younger-self plan for future-you. Take the time now to decide what will happen to you and your property if the worst happens.
These are 5 hacks to devising a will and trust.
Distinctions Between A Will and Trust
Legal jargon’s a little confusing. Layman’s terms can cause erroneous interchanging of the two meanings. A living trust and a living will are two, very separate things.
A lawyer can modify these documents when the person is able-bodied and right of mind. The ownership of these agreements transfers to the executor if either condition is not met.
A living trust documents the disbursement of your property after passing. A succeeding trustee will allocate your estate to your named beneficiaries.
A living will deals with your health if you have been incapacitated. If you would like to be kept on support or not when you are unable to function for yourself.
List Your Assets
Make a list of everything you own that has value: sentimental or capital. This a catalog of your assets.
When devising your living trust, it is important to have an estimation of everything you own. Creating a trust will be easy when you can reduce this to a quantifiable number. Think of your house, your car, and everything included as your estate.
Most Americans will have around $300,000 worth of property to disperse. If your number is coming up short or high, try recalculating it.
Your trustee will disperse your estate evenly (or how you deem fit) to your beneficiaries.
Picking Your Beneficiaries
This part can be tough. It might be the toughest part for you.
You have to choose who gets what when you are gone. This step is entirely dependent on your relationship with your loved ones.
You might not have a family that you can give an estate to. Or you have a family undeserving of your property. It is yours to do what you wish; you can even donate it to charity.
Pick who you think best deserves what you have earned in life.
Find A Trustee You Can Trust
It is all in the name, “trustee.” Who do you trust to allocate your estate or make a life-or-death decision?
Usually family. Most family members have nothing but loving intentions for you.
If you do not have that, pick a trustee you can depend on. This person will decide your fate when you are gone physically or mentally.
How to Write It
Writing a trust or a will depends on your wealth. If you are of moderate means, creating a will yourself is acceptable. But those with heavy wallets and lots of assets should hire an estate lawyer.
Devising a will or a trust can be done through online software. Get the help of a loved one if you are uncomfortable with computers.
A forewarning: doing either agreement incorrectly can devastate your beneficiaries. For those who err on the side of caution, it is recommended to get a lawyer regardless of your estate’s size.
Take Care (of Yourself and Family)
Everybody ages, everybody dies. What you do beforehand is important.
Know the distinction between a living will and a living trust. A will is health-related; a trust is for dispersing property. Make a list of your assets and decide a trustee to disperse them to beneficiaries.
You can create a will and trust yourself, but it is advised to do it with the help of a lawyer.
Contact us if you have any other legal questions about estate planning or wills.