Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Resolution New You #15 - Prepare your Legacy

It is time to finally get a family trust or will for you and your family. You will have peace of mind that your loved ones, your property, and your assets you have worked so hard for, are protected.  

If you have property or value for anything in your life you do not want to see go to the IRS, get a living trust.  Many people do not know the difference between a will and a living trust but one of the contributing factors in determining which is right for you will be a term called probate. If you establish a will, upon your death, your estate will go into probate - the official proving of a will. (This is the court administered process of dividing up one's assets in an "orderly" fashion. Most often this is an "orderly" process costs your estate time, money, and makes your estate a public record.)
A living trust on the other hand eliminates probate.  A living trust is actually a pretty straightforward device. It is simply a separate entity (analogous to a corporation) which holds your assets. You retain complete control over your assets while you are alive and mentally competent. Upon your incapacity or death another person (called the "trustee") steps into your shoes and manages your assets for you. This trustee can be a relative, a friend, or a professional fiduciary (like a bank). Avoiding the probate process is critical, as your trustee can distribute your assets in an expedient manner to your heirs.
After you have learned all there is to learn about which is right for you and your financial circumstances at http://www.californiaprobate.info/willtrust.htm, start gathering your assets, talk to a family member or friend about the future of your children, and protect your legacies.
An attorney can handle your arrangements, or you can try LegalZoom, which is an online service I find to be extremely professional and informative.


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Thanks for sharing!