LEGACY PLANNING OPTIONS
For many, the most familiar estate planning strategy is a basic WILL, which is a document created by you to inform the probate court of your wishes concerning your family, wealth, and possessions, after death. A Will, while important, is the most basic estate planning tool, and only takes effect upon your death. But what happens to your loved ones, wealth, and possessions if you’re only incapacitated? Is there something you can do to better prepare and protect them right now, while you’re still alive and well? And when you do eventually pass away, how do you pass on intangibles like your family history, values, and life lessons learned?
In most cases, a Will simply doesn’t serve as a wholly sufficient estate plan, and it certainly does not create a legacy. Having a Will in conjunction with other CRITICAL DOCUMENTS, one or more TRUSTS, and DELIBERATE FAMILY PLANNING (discussed here), ultimately delivers better preparedness and protection for your loved ones, a greater in-depth expression of your wishes, and a more effective transfer of your tangible and intangible assets. Employing a TRUST-BASED plan can also achieve specific objectives like avoiding probate, maintaining family privacy, smooth and immediate transfer of assets, gifting specific heirlooms to specific people, naming guardians for your children and animals, and ensuring the right people will step into the right roles in the event of your incapacity or death.
A comprehensive CHILD STABILITY PLAN™ (CSP) is recommended for all families with minor children. The CSP ensures your children are placed in the care of the trusted individuals you chose rather than Child Protective Services. The Plan also provides your chosen caregivers with important information such as each child’s current healthcare providers, medical conditions, allergies, special needs, educational specifics, extracurriculars, etc., and detailed instructions for how you want your children raised in terms of religious beliefs, family customs and traditions, or having specific experiences like travel and higher education. The CSP is your opportunity to turn the worst possible scenario into a workable plan.
WILLS VS. TRUSTS
- Requires probate
- Less time to draft now
- More time to probate later (6 to 18+ months)
- Costs less to draft now ($1500-$2500)
- Effective only upon death
- No incapacity planning
- Only names long-term guardians
- Assets are frozen upon death
- Assets are transferred when court says
- Matter of public record
- Requires court supervision
- One-time control over your estate
- No deliberate family planning
- No asset protection
- Avoids probate
- More time to draft now
- Less time to administer later
- Costs more to draft now ($4000-$5000+)
- Effective immediately
- Incapacity planning
- Comprehensive Child Stability Plan™
- Assets are not frozen upon death
- Assets are transferred when you say
- No court supervision
- Long-term control over your estate
- Comprehensive deliberate family planning
- Opportunity for asset protection
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANNING GOALS?
THE OUTCOME-BASED PLANNING TAB LISTS THE TYPES OF TRUSTS WE CAN CREATE BASED ON YOUR GOALS.
CLICK THE "ADDITIONAL OPTIONS" TAB BELOW FOR HYPERLINKS TO EXPLANATIONS OF EACH TYPE.
I WANT TO TAKE CARE OF MY SPOUSE IF I BECOME INCAPACITATED OR DIE. We can do that with a Marital Trust, Family Credit Shelter Trust, Marital QTIP trust, and/or a Spousal Lifetime Access Trust.
I WANT TO TAKE CARE OF MY MINOR CHILDREN IF I BECOME INCAPACITATED OR DIE. We can do that with a Family Trust or a Family Credit Shelter Trust, and a Child Stability Plan™.
I WANT TO TAKE CARE OF MY ADULT CHILD WHO MIGHT NEED A LITTLE MOTIVATION/SUPERVISION IF I BECOME INCAPACITATED OR DIE. We can do that with an Incentive Trust or a Spendthrift Trust.
I’M PART OF A BLENDED FAMILY AND I WANT TO MAKE SURE MY CHILDREN ARE TAKEN CARE OF IF I BECOME INCAPACITATED OR DIE, ESPECIALLY IF MY SPOUSE REMARRIES. We can do that with a Joint Pour-Over Trust-Based Plan or a Marital QTIP Trust and a Family Credit Shelter Trust.
I WANT TO MAKE SURE MY ANIMALS ARE TAKEN CARE OF AND/OR REHOMED IF I BECOME INCAPACITATED OR DIE. We can do that with a Pet Trust and/or a Horse Trust.
I WANT TO TAKE CARE OF MY LOVED ONE WHO HAS SPECIAL NEEDS. We can do that with a Special Needs Trust and an Adult Dependent Stability Plan™.
I WANT TO GIVE A GIFT TO OR SUPPORT MY GRANDCHILDREN AFTER I DIE. We can do that with a Generation-Skipping Trust.
I WANT TO CONTROL THE DISTRIBUTION OF MY LEFTOVER RETIREMENT FUNDS AFTER I DIE. We can do that with a Standalone Retirement Trust.
I WANT TO PROTECT MY LIFE INSURANCE, REMOVE MY LIFE INSURANCE FROM MY TAXABLE ESTATE, AND AVOID GIFT TAXES FOR MY BENEFICIARIES. We can do that with an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust.
I WANT TO PROTECT MY HOME BY PUTTING IT IN A TRUST FOR MY FAMILY WHILE ALLOWING ME TO LIVE IN IT AND REMOVING IT FROM MY TAXABLE ESTATE. We can do that with a Qualified Personal Residence Trust.
I WANT TO GIVE MY ASSETS TO MY SPOUSE SO THAT SHE CAN TAKE CARE OF ME AND MY FAMILY WHILE REMOVING THE ASSETS FROM MY TAXABLE ESTATE. We can do that with a Spousal Lifetime Access Trust.
I WANT TO PROTECT MY ASSETS FROM LAWSUITS, CREDITORS, DIVORCE, AND MY OWN BAD LUCK. We can do that with a Domestic Asset Protection Trust.
I WANT MY FINANCIAL LEGACY TO GO ON FOR AS MANY GENERATIONS AS POSSIBLE. We can do that with a Dynasty Trust.
I WANT TO GIVE MY PROPERTY TO MY FAMILY AND STILL BE CHARITABLE. We can do that with a Charitable Remainder Trust, Charitable Lead Trust, Private Family Foundation, or an LLC.
I WANT A SUCCESSION PLAN FOR MY BUSINESS IN CASE I BECOME DISABLED OR DIE. We can do that with business estate planning, which may include a Buy/Sell Agreement.
I OWN FIREARMS AND WANT TO MAKE SURE MY FAMILY KNOWS HOW TO SAFELY AND LEGALLY TRANSFER THEM IF I BECOME INCAPACITATED OR DIE. We can do that with a Gun Trust.
YOUR PLANNING OPTIONS:
- POUR-OVER WILL
- LIVING WILL & ADVANCE DIRECTIVE
- FIVE WISHES®
- HEALTHCARE POWERS OF ATTORNEY
- FINANCIAL POWERS OF ATTORNEY
- HIPAA RELEASES
DELIBERATE FAMILY PLANNING
- LEGACY INTERVIEWS
- LEGACY LETTERS
- ETHICAL WILLS
- PHOTO & DOCUMENT DIGITIZATION
- FAMILY MEETING
CHILD STABILITY PLAN™
- SHORT-TERM GUARDIANSHIP NOMINATION
- LONG-TERM GUARDIANSHIP NOMINATION
- GUARDIAN NOTIFICATION LETTERS
- CONFIDENTIAL GUARDIAN EXCLUSIONS
- COMPREHENSIVE CARE & RAISING INSTRUCTIONS
- EMERGENCY CARDS
- CHILD POWERS OF ATTORNEY
- CHILD HIPAA RELEASES
- MARITAL DISCLAIMER TRUST
- MARITAL QTIP TRUST
- QUALIFIED DOMESTIC TRUST
- FAMILY TRUST
- FAMILY CREDIT SHELTER TRUST
- GENERATION SKIPPING TRUST
- INCENTIVE TRUST
- SPENDTHRIFT TRUST
- CHARITABLE REMAINDER TRUST
- CHARITABLE LEAD TRUST
- STAND ALONE RETIREMENT TRUST
- IRREVOCABLE LIFE INSURANCE TRUST
- QUALIFIED PERSONAL RESIDENCE TRUST
- SPOUSAL LIFETIME ACCESS TRUST
- DOMESTIC ASSET PROTECTION TRUST
- HORSE TRUST
- PET TRUST
- GUN TRUST
DELIBERATE FAMILY PLANNING
- LEGACY BOX®
- FAMILY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP
- FAMILY LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
- BUSINESS SUCCESSION PLANNING
- REAL ESTATE DEED TRANSFERS
- DEED TRANSFERS TO TRUST
- TRANSFER ON DEATH DEEDS
- TRUST FUNDING/ASSET ALIGNMENT
- LEGACY SUSTAINMENT PLAN™
WHAT ADDITIONAL OPTIONS ARE RIGHT FOR YOU?
A CHILD STABILITY PLAN™ IS NECESSARY IF YOU ARE THE PARENT OF A MINOR CHILD AND…
- You want to keep your children out of the hands of the authorities and in the hands of your chosen short and long-term guardians.
- You want your chosen guardians to be able to make emergency medical decisions for your child(ren) on your behalf.
- You want your child(ren) to be raised by the people you choose.
- You don’t want your child(ren) to be raised by certain people.
- Because your values differ.
- Because they’re irresponsible.
- Because they can’t afford to raise your children.
- You want to provide a “user’s manual” for your chosen long-term guardians.
- Major medical history, prescription medications, allergies, primary care doctors, dentists, specialty care providers
- Education and school information, learning disabilities, extra-curriculars your children enjoy
- Special needs of any kind
- You want to make sure your child(ren) are raised the way you would have raised them.
- In accordance with a certain religion
- Connected to their heritage
- Participating in family customs
- Meeting/spending time with specific family members
- Achieving a certain level of education
- Experiencing certain travel
- Playing sports or other extra-curriculars
- Understanding and valuing money and finances
- You want your child(ren) to share your values even if you don’t get a chance to pass them on.
A DEPENDENT STABILITY PLAN™ IS HELPFUL IF YOU ARE…
- The primary caretaker of a handicapped adult.
- The primary caretaker of an elderly parent.
AN ADULT-CHILD/DEPENDENT HIPAA RELEASE IS NECESSARY IF…
You have a child 18 years old or older and, in the event of a medical emergency, you want to remain informed about your child’s medical care even if your child is unconscious and cannot provide verbal or written consent to sharing HIPAA-protected information.
You have an adult who depends on you, and in the event of a medical emergency, you want to remain informed about their medical care even if they are unconscious and cannot provide verbal or written consent to sharing HIPAA-protected information.
AN ADULT-CHILD/DEPENDENT POWER OF ATTORNEY IS NECESSARY IF…
You have a child 18 years old or older and, in the event of a medical emergency, you want to be able to make decisions about your child’s medical care and other matters if your child is unconscious and unable to make decisions for themselves.
You have an adult who depends on you and, in the event of a medical emergency, you want to be able to make decisions about their medical care and other matters if they are unconscious and unable to make decisions for themselves.
A SPECIAL TRUST IS A GREAT IDEA IF…
MARITAL QTIP TRUST – You are married and you want to provide for your spouse during their life and then for someone else after your spouse passes away.
MARITAL QDOT TRUST – You are married to someone who is not a US citizen.
FAMILY TRUST – You have a family that you want to provide for through controlled distributions.
FAMILY CREDIT SHELTER TRUST – You want to provide for your family while protecting your property from taxation and creditors AND/OR you are half of a blended family and you’d like to ensure your children are provided for before providing for the children of your spouse.
INCENTIVE TRUST – You have a beneficiary you’d like to provide for, but you want to ensure they become a productive member of society. You can require your beneficiary to meet certain criteria, like graduating college, getting married, or refraining from drug use before receiving distributions from the trust. It is an “only if…” trust.
SPENDTHRIFT TRUST – You have a beneficiary you’d like to provide for, but you’re worried because they are not good at managing their money, are struggling with addiction, or have some other reason you’d like to protect them from themselves. A Spendthrift Trust can provide options for limiting their access to and control of assets left to them.
SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST – You or one of your beneficiaries have special needs and you’d like to set money aside to help with extended care needs.
CHARITABLE REMAINDER TRUST – You want to provide for your family and then contribute to a charity with what remains while at the same time protecting your property from taxation and creditors.
CHARITABLE LEAD TRUST – You want to contribute to a charity and then provide for your family with what remains while at the same time protecting your property from taxation and creditors.
STAND ALONE RETIREMENT TRUST – You expect to have retirement funds remaining after your death and you’d like to pass those funds on to a beneficiary (the trust will be funded after you pass with whatever is left of your retirement assets).
IRREVOCABLE LIFE INSURANCE TRUST – You want to protect your life insurance and other property from taxation and creditors AND/OR you have a taxable estate and you’d like to minimize your tax burden.
QUALIFIED PERSONAL RESIDENCE TRUST – You want to live in your home for a set period of years before gifting it to a beneficiary (during your lifetime) while also reducing the amount of gift tax incurred at the time of transfer.
SPOUSAL LIFETIME ACCESS TRUST– You and your spouse have a large estate and a trusting relationship and you’d like to remove funds from your taxable estate while keeping them available for your spouse to use throughout their lifetime.
HORSE TRUST – You want to be a responsible horse owner who ensures your horse is taken care of if you become incapacitated and after you die.
PET TRUST – You want to be a responsible pet owner who ensures your pet is taken care of if you become incapacitated and after you die.
GUN TRUST – You own firearms and you want to ensure that your loved ones are able to transfer them to your chosen beneficiaries without breaking any state or federal laws.
A LEGACY BOX® IS A GREAT IDEA IF…
You have a lot of family photos (print and digital), videos (VHS and digital), audio (tapes and digital), and other documents (paper and digital) that you would like consolidated and digitized for safekeeping to pass on to your loved ones.
A FAMILY CHARITABLE FOUNDATION IS A GREAT IDEA IF…
You want to firmly establish a philanthropic legacy where control over the foundation and its assets can be passed to countless generations of family, perpetuating your values, continuing your charitable work, and carrying your name far beyond your lifetime.
A TRANSFER ON DEATH DEED OR DEED OF GIFT IS A GREAT IDEA IF…
You want to immediately transfer ownership of your home upon your death (Transfer on Death Deed) or you want to put your home into your trust to better protect it from creditors and control its distribution or use after your death (Deed of Gift to your trust).
HAVING ME DO YOUR TRUST FUNDING MIGHT MAKE SENSE IF…
You don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, you don’t have time, or you just don’t want to do it.
Trust funding involves retitling your assets into the name of your trust, which can include bank accounts, 529 plans, stocks and bonds, brokerage accounts, real estate, vehicles, business interests, etc. This can be intimidating and is tedious and time-consuming. It might provide you with reassurance or simply save you time to outsource that task to me at a cost of 0.5% of your total assets funded.
PARTICIPATING IN MY LEGACY SUSTAINMENT PLAN™ IS RIGHT FOR YOU IF…
You don’t want to worry about whether your legacy plan is up-to-date and aligned with current law.
You don’t want to have to remember to have your plan reviewed and updated.
You want someone looking out for you and your family beyond the initial planning process.
You want your Successor Trustee to have a free initial consultation with me after your death.