Should you have a last will or Trust?

Certain events will take place when, not if, you pass away. Either you will have made the necessary preparations or you will have failed to do so. When you have made the necessary preparations, your estate will effectively and efficiently transfer to your descendants or to those you choose with minimal taxes, delay, or other expenses.

If you are not prepared, your estate will probably have to go through the formal probate process, lawyer fees and executor fees will be significant (approximately 6% of everything you own), and your assets will be delayed through the probate process (sometimes for years) before your loved ones are able to enjoy them. There are many factors when it comes to planning your estate, but the Finity Law Firm is here to provide FREE CONSULTATIONS so you can make the best decision for your asset distribution, your family, and your legacy.

Should You Have An Estate Plan?

Generally, we see clients who believe that they need a last will and testament (aka “a will”), when in reality, a trust would be the best option for them. You should consider a trust over a will if:

  • You own a house;

  • Have bank accounts;

  • Own cars or other motorized vehicles;

  • Have life insurance;

  • Have retirement accounts; or

  • If you have a spouse and/or children whose lives depend on getting access to your assets without the delays of probate.

Many believe that trusts are just for the uber rich. They are actually great “vehicles” for most people when it comes to transferring wealth, minimizing taxes, having complete privacy from the public, and avoiding the costs and delays of probate and your last name does not need to be Rockefeller in order to have one. There are many different types of trusts that have many different purposes, including: revocable living trusts (sometimes called living trust or inter vivos trust), special needs trusts, testamentary trusts (a last will and testament that creates a trust upon death), irrevocable trusts, pet trusts, life insurance trusts, family trusts, spendthrift trusts, tax by pass trusts, miller trusts, and charitable trusts.

Estate Planning Questions & Answers

No Will or Trust Will Revocable Trust
Can I avoid probate? No No Yes
Can I reduce/ avoid federal taxes? No No Yes
Can I keep inheritance from my heirs until they reach age 30 or older? No No Yes
Can I arrange to have funds managed for the benefit of a heir who is handicapped or otherwise unable to handle funds? No No Yes
Can I make sure my grandchildren will receive my estate after my children die, excluding spouses of my children? No No Yes
Can I leave assets to children from an earlier marriage, cutting out my present spouse? No No Yes
How long after my death until all assets are distributed and the estate is closed? 6 months – 2 years 6 months – 2 years 2 – 9 months
Can I retain control over my assets while I’m alive? Yes Yes Yes
Can I change/ revoke the plan? N/A Yes Yes
Does the plan provide for someone to handle my finances if I become disabled? No No Yes

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Our client-centered process - The finity law firm

Our Client Centered Process

  • EDUCATION

During your initial consultation, we focus on educating you and your family on the subject matter. The more informed you are, the better decision you can make!

  • YOUR UNIQUE GOALS AND NEEDS

After your education crash course, we discuss your specific needs and goals. Together, we develop a plan and solution that is unique to your own situation.

  • EXECUTION

With a balanced approach of your needs and your wallet, we take any necessary action. Our goal is always to give you the peace of mind you and your family deserve while we help you with your legal matters!

Contents of an Estate Planning Package

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney allows you to designate a person to make financial decisions on your behalf in case you become incapacitated for whatever reason.

Healthcare Surrogate

A health care surrogate allows someone you designate during your life to make certain health care decisions for you in case you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to do so. While a power of attorney lets someone make financial decisions for you, it does not cover health care decisions.

Pour-Over Will

A pour over will is a basic will that “pours over” into your trust. It directs assets that were not named in the trust to “pour over”in your trust upon your death. This is a catch all for any assets that you later accumulate, but also serves to revoke any prior wills you may have made previously, directs your funeral and/or cremation wishes, and also names guardians for any minor children.

Living Will

A living will allows you to make the decision during your life for what you want to happen if you are brain dead, in a permanent vegetative state, or have an end-of-life medical condition so others don’t have to and your money is not drained for medical care. To be clear, this is NOT a “do not resuscitate document”, which is an entirely separate document.

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