A lot of people are not aware of the fact that there are numerous documents that can be used when you are planning your estate. Variations of trusts abound, and there are also different types of wills, and we will look at them in this post.
The estate planning document that most people have heard of is the simple last will, which was called the last will and testament back in the day. You would use this type of will to state your wishes with regard to the distribution of your assets after you pass away.
If you have dependent children in your home, you could also name a guardian for the children in your simple will. The court would ultimately make the final decision after gaining an understanding of the situation, but the parents’ choices are almost always honored.
An exception would be in cases when the court determines that the proposed executor would not serve the best interests of the children.
While it is true that the facilitation of monetary transfers is at the core of the estate planning process, it is also important to address end-of-life issues. With this in mind, you should include advance directives for health care, and one of these is the living will.
Doctors can sometimes keep people alive indefinitely through the utilization of life support measures like resuscitation, ventilation, artificial hydration, and feeding tubes. In your living will, you can go down the line and express your feelings with regard to the use of each of these methods.
A living will can include other important information. For example, if you want to be an organ and/or tissue donor, you can make your wishes known. You can add your comfort care medication preferences as well.
Pour Over Will
One of the primary reasons why you should discuss your estate planning objectives with a licensed attorney is because there are many different ways to proceed. A simple will is not always the best choice as the centerpiece of an estate plan, so you should explore your options thoroughly.
When you do, you may find that a revocable living trust is a far better choice. There are many different reasons why a living trust can be better than a will when certain circumstances exist, and we will get into them in another post.
If you have a revocable living trust, there may be some assets that are still in your direct personal possession at the time of your passing. To account for this, you can include a pour over will to complement a living trust.
This would allow the trust to assume ownership of these assets after your passing, and this would streamline the estate administration process.
The final will that we will look at here is the ethical will. This document is not legally binding, but it can be one of the most meaningful additions to your estate plan.
Ethical wills stem from the Judaic tradition, and they have been used since biblical times. In an ethical will, you share your moral and spiritual values for the benefit of your loved ones. When you take this step, you leave being a valuable set of rules to live by that can benefit family members during difficult times.
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