Who Needs a Will or Trust?
If you own assets of any kind — a home, investments, life insurance, or other possessions — then you have an “estate” and need an estate plan. Your estate plan designates who will inherit your property and ensures that your children and loved ones will be taken care of in accordance with your wishes.
If you have minor children or are planning to have children, an estate plan is essential. Having a quality estate plan is one of the best things you can do for the ones you love.
What’s the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?
During your initial consultation, John will explain the differences. He will ask questions like “Do you own a home?” and “Do you have children?” Your answers will point you to the right choice. There’s no preparation necessary, and the initial consultation for wills and trusts is free. As you think about which estate plan package may be best for you, we’re happy to answer any questions. That’s what we do.
This grid provides a brief overview of the documents within each package.
LAST WILL & TESTAMENT
A Last Will & Testament provides instructions to the probate court indicating your exact wishes about who will care for your children, who is in charge of implementing your wishes (your executor) and how your property will be distributed. Your will and all other documents filed with the probate court will be public record.
A Revocable Trust accomplishes everything that a will does, but with the distinct advantage of avoiding the probate court process. “Revocable” means that you retain control over your finances, possessions, and wishes during your lifetime. At any time, you can change your mind by amending or even revoking your Revocable Trust.
A Pour-Over Will is used in conjunction with a revocable trust. It acts as a safety net to ensure that any property not transferred into your trust during your lifetime “pours into” it upon your death.
FINANCIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY
A Financial Power Of Attorney gives the person you designate the power to handle your financial decisions, such as paying your bills or filing your taxes.
HEALTHCARE DIRECTIVE (LIVING WILL)
A Healthcare Directive tells your physician and family the extent of medical care you wish to receive if you are unable to communicate these things yourself.
MEDICAL POWER OF ATTORNEY
A Medical Power of Attorney gives the person you designate the legal authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
Filed with the Recorder of Deeds, a beneficiary deed avoids the probate court process and transfers title to your property to your designated beneficiary (including your revocable trust) upon your death. Your real estate remains titled in your name during your lifetime, and you’re always free to change or revoke your beneficiary deed. If you own property beyond your primary residence, we can draft additional deeds for an additional fixed fee of $100 per beneficiary deed. We will provide instructions on how to file your deeds with the Recorder of Deeds Office or if you’d like, we would be happy to file them on your behalf for a fixed fee of $100 per deed.