The old adage that “You need a will” represented one of the most basic parts of an estate plan. The fact is, you may or may not need a will. However, you need some legal vehicle(s) to organize what happens to the things you own, owe, and the people you need/want to take care of, including yourself, in the event of incapacity and ultimately your death. That collection of legal vehicles is what compromises your estate plan.
The purpose of an estate plan varies from person-to-person. The goal of an estate plan is to proactively arrange for the organization, protection, and distribution of your assets in such a way that they benefit your designated beneficiaries in a way that you define. It could be planning for or avoiding probate, keeping a family farm in the family, passing an heirloom, valuable asset, or a business to another person, or provide a stream of income and assets for your surviving spouse after you pass.
An estate plan is unique to an individual or couple based on the type and volume of assets owned coupled with desire to leave a personal or family legacy. Creating an estate plan is not exclusively for the “rich.” Instead, it is a plan that leverages various legal strategies to protect assets, to put them to work, or to transfer to your beneficiaries whether you have $50,000 or more than $5,000,000.
Estate planning strategies like revocable living trusts, protective/spray trusts, IRA Preservation Trusts, special needs trusts, pet trusts, Miller trusts, last wills, transfer or payable on death, property ownership, powers of attorney, and other strategies are blended into an umbrella strategy that is your estate plan.
The concept of estate planning may be new to you or maybe you have been researching it for a while. Either way, put the more than 40 years of estate planning experience of Cliff Rice and Rice & Rice Attorneys in your corner to help develop not just an estate plan, but estate solution.
Why You Need a Rice & Rice Living Trust Centered Estate Plan
You may think you don’t have enough in assets to need any sort of Estate Plan. The reality is that most people who own property and/or who have children, especially from a previous relationship, need to have a well-organized, well-planned Estate Plan to protect their assets, interests and family.
The “What if’s” can cause a lot of lost sleep:
What happens to our children if my spouse and I both incapacitated in an accident?
What happens to my family, house, assets, etc. if I become disabled?
Who will make sure my children, grandchildren and/or other heirs receive what I have provided for them if my spouse dies before all is distributed?
What if my surviving spouse gets remarried?
What if my children are not of an age to take care of themselves or I want to have some instructions for how they should receive/use their inheritance?
Rice & Rice uses a Living Trust Centered Estate Plan to protect assets, reduce fees (court, attorney, publication, etc.), limit taxes and create the legacy that you want to share with future generations.
Absence of a plan can result in paying thousands of dollars in unnecessary fees, avoidable taxable incidents, loss of assets and an extended amount of time spent working through a process in which you and your heirs have little control.
The Rice & Rice Living Trust includes:
Directions for distribution of assets in a way that protects your heirs
Provides guidance for your estate in the case of disability and death
Directions for In-Home Healthcare
Extensive instructions to assist your Trustee to administer your estate
Details about funding your Living Trust based on types of assets
Remarriage Protection language
Additional instructions and guidance to simplify the administration of your estate
In addition to the Living Trust, which is the core of your Estate Plan, your Rice & Rice Plan may include:
Durable Powers of Attorney to help funding your Trust and Medicaid planning
Healthcare Powers of Attorney to give your appointed representative authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated
HIPAA Waiver to allow those you identify the capacity to talk with healthcare professionals to know your situation and location if admitted to a facility
Pour Over Will to assist if part of your estate ends up in probate
Living Will to clearly state your end of life decisions so there is no confusion
Key Authorizations to allow specified contact
Affidavit of Transfer
Affidavit of Trust
Deeds in the name of the Trust
We invite you to learn more about the Keys to a Good Estate Plan and Rice & Rice by joining us for an Upcoming Seminar/Dinner. We look forward to providing you with an experience you will want to share with others.