The Revocable Living Trust serves as the foundation for most estate plans. While both wills and trusts can be used to direct the distribution of assets upon death, a revocable living trust can do much more.
Successor trustees can be nominated to manage your trust during your lifetime if you become incapacitated and are unable to manage you property yourself. Your successor trustees will also handle the distribution of trust assets after your death.
In addition, you can also control how and when your beneficiaries receive their share of trust assets. Revocable Living Trusts are so popular because of their power and flexibility. When you have your trust in place, your loved ones can avoid the cost, delays and publicity involved with going to court to receive permission to take certain actions. Better yet, you retain as much control over your life and your property as you choose.
One of the primary benefits of trust based estate planning is the ability to provide instructions during times of incapacity. By nominating a successor trustee, you have provided the legal authority to another to act on your behalf with respect to all of the trust property. You can choose to give that person powers as broad as those you enjoy while acting as your own trustee. Or you can limit those powers somewhat if that better suits your needs. Furthermore, you can specify in detail your preferences regarding where you want to live and other issues addressing the care you receive.
By coordinating the incapacity provisions of your trust based estate plan with your powers of attorney for property management and healthcare, you can protect yourself from the likelihood of ever needing a Conservatorship if you become incapacitated. Your loved ones will not have to go to court to get permission to act on your behalf. And you will have retained as much control as possible over your life and your property.
Your trust will also contain instructions regarding the distribution of your property after your death. You may choose to have your property distributed outright to your beneficiaries or you may decide to retain it in trust with provisions for partial distributions over time. Your choice of distribution plan should consider issues such as whether you are or may be leaving property to minors,
In addition to asking yourself â€œwho gets whatâ€, you should also consider the “when” and “how” of distributions from trust. What if your beneficiaries are minors? Do you worry about your son or daughter’s ex-spouse ending up with your property? Is a beneficiary responsible enough to manage a large inheritance or could he or she benefit from having someone else manage the assets? Is asset protection important to you? Do any of your beneficiaries have special needs or receive government benefits? If so, do you realize that an outright distribution from your trust could disqualify them from receiving those benefits.
Revocable trusts are not intended to serve as the primary vehicle for taxable estates. Irrevocable trusts and other planning techniques may be used in conjunction with the revocable trust to minimize your taxable estate by removing assets from your estate during your lifetime.
A carefully drafted trust from Moynihan Lyons will address all of these concerns and provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind knowing that the plan is in place to deal with not only the certainty of death but also the possibility of incapacity.
While disability planning, retirement planning, and special needs planning can be ‘top of mind’ issues for boomers or older seniors, there are two additional essential estate planning needs that are not directly tied to the economy. These two concerns, if not addressed adequately, are responsible for a lot of family [...]
The maximum amount that a Veteran or Surviving Spouse who is eligible for Aid & Attendance will receive a 1.7% cost of living increase in 2013. Here are the new rates: Max. Annual Max. Monthly Pension Rate Pension Rate Status (Income Limit) (Income Limit) Single Veteran $20,772 $1,731 Married Veteran [...]
Panel discussion re the new draft Medi-Cal regulations and how they will affect everyone in the elder care community.
We have just received notice of the amount of the 2012 increase to the Aid & Attendance benefit.Â Starting in January, married Veterans can receive up to $2,019/mo. in reimbursement for unreimbursed medical expenses.Â Single Veterans can receive up to $1,703/mo.Â And Surviving Spouses may be eligible for up to $1,09 [...]
So what can I share with the adult children of my clients who are looking for a bit of financial relief?
Most Americans have never discussed what should happen when they die. There are many decisions to make, yet they have very little help in making those decisions. Studies show that more than 90% of Americans believe that pre-funding their funeral is a good idea, yet only 12% have done it. Studies also show that elder law and esta [...]
There are unique planning requirements for families with children, grandchildren or other family members (such as parents) with special needs. However, a lot of misconceptions exist in this area that result in costly mistakes in planning for special needs beneficiaries. In this post we will cover the three most common mistakes r [...]
Medi-cal (called Medicaid in states other than California) planning can be divided into two types based on urgency: pre-planning and crisis planning. Pre-planning is for those individuals who have not yet begun to spend their assets on private care, but may need to in the coming years. Crisis planning is for those individuals us [...]