Ensure That Your Assets Reach the Right Beneficiaries With Estate Planning In Advance

Not many of us take up estate planning as seriously as we should. There is a common misconception among people that planning of estates is meant for only landlords, with wealthy and rich families.

Well, that is not the fact!

Regardless of the size of your home or estate, you should have an advance planning in place for managing all your assets, and that includes your bank account, household goods, vehicles, and life insurance as well.

Do you want all your assets to go into right hands?

If your answer is yes, then it becomes imperative for you to make advance estate planning. It also helps you ensure that your children are taken care of properly, if you unfortunately pass away. In this post, we shall see what property planning can actually do for you.

Advance Planning of Estate and Its Benefits

When it comes to property planning, most of the people feel that it something complex, difficult, and time consuming. Well, you can download legal documents like the will template, trust, etc over the net. However, these documents are not customized to meet your individual needs, and they are not legally enforceable.

This is exactly why, hiring an experienced and well qualified property lawyer. Your estate planning lawyer will help you execute all the legal procedures to prepare your will in advance. Knowing that your will is already in place, you can live with peace of mind about your future.

You can get following benefits by making your estate planning in advance with assistance from professional lawyers.

You will get the choice of deciding who will look after your children after you pass away. You can also choose an alternative, where the court will offer suitable solution to your issue.
You can decide on how all your financial assets are to be handled, and by whom. Your instructions will be strictly followed after you.
You can choose to handover everything, or fractions of your estate to your children, or your spouse. In fact, you can also choose any other person to receive your assets too.
If you wish to secure the future of any individual who is disabled, then a ‘special needs trust’ can be set up to handle this matter.
You could also choose to lighten the burden on your family members by making advance planning of your own funeral arrangements.
Your assets and properties will promptly get distributed to respective beneficiaries without any issues.
A good property planning lawyer will help you save time and money involved in getting the paperwork done.
A professionally drafted estate plan will also help you reduce the taxes involved with your assets.
If you are injured, then the management of all your financial and medical affairs could be done in advance.
Advance planning of your assets will help ensure the company/companies you own continue to run efficiently, even without your presence.

Conclusion:

In addition to above mentioned points, proper estate planning would significantly benefit you in due course. It will ultimately turn out to be a wise investment, which will help you make sure that your beloved ones are properly taken cared of in the future.

Couple Given Permission to Rip Up Trust Which Had Been Poorly Drafted

A married couple were allowed to destroy a trust which had been incorrectly prepared, when a mistake meant that the wife could not benefit from it.

The trust had been set up by her spouse some years ago, in order to be able to provide for his family in the event of this death, using the bank to act as the trustee.

The man had written to the bank in question, outlining his wish for the trust to help his wife and children in the future, tax efficiently. However, it was only after the wife paid some money into the trust that issues became apparent. Because she had made a payment into the fund, she automatically became a settlor in law, and so could not be one of the trust’s beneficiaries any more.

Once they had spotted the mistake, and then tried to put it right, the pair saw that the terms of the trust had significant issues. Under its terms, beneficiaries could receive payments from the trust, but as settlors in law neither the husband nor the wife were eligible to benefit from it.

Clearly, this was in direct contradiction with what the husband had intended when setting up the trust – It had been set up with the two of them both as settlors, yet the whole idea was that the wife would be one of the beneficiaries.

Given the unforeseen complications, the couple decided to take the matter to the High Court, where they asked for permission to alter the trust so that it was more in keeping with their original wishes.

The court stressed that, in cases like this it had to be confident that it was fair and right to give permission to rescind the trust. And it would only do this if there was enough evidence that the error was so significant that it had a major impact on the terms of the trust.

And yet, in this case, this permission was given, and the court cited the letter which the husband had written as a reasonable indication that mistakes had been made when the trust was initially drafted.

This case is also something of a cautionary tale when setting up a trust of this nature. Check the terms with a fine tooth comb if you are doing the same, and make sure you get the best legal advice to ensure that you avoid similar pitfalls.

Avoid the Terry Schiavo Dilemma: Make Sure Your Estate Is in Order

If you were at least somewhat aware of the world in the early 2000′s, you will probably recall the Terri Schiavo case. You’ll remember this was an ordeal about fight between a husband and the wife’s parents about who had to right to decided what should happen to Terri, who was in a persistent vegetative state.

Here is just a brief synopsis to bring you up to speed. Terri was married to Michael Schiavo, they lived in Florida. At age 26, Terri collapsed and her brain was deprived of oxygen long enough to cause her brain damage and leave her into what is called a “persistent vegetative state”, this isn’t the same thing as brain dead, Terri could breathe on her one, but besides breathing she was essentially incapable of thought, emotion, or significant bodily movements. After her death, doctor’s concluded that she had significant amount of irreversible brain damage.

The issue that took this sad private situation and made it a national headline which consumed the news and everyone watching was the fight between Michael, Terri’s husband and Terri’s parents, Robert and Mary Schindler. Michael had cared for and dealt with Terri’s treatment since 1990, he decided some 10 years later that Terri’s recovery was not realistic and he sought to have his wife taken of what was essentially life support. Terri’s parent fought this, and waged a very public fight to try and ensure their daughter would remain on life support. Thus the legal battle ensued.

Dr. Timothy E. Quill, in The New England Journal of Medicine wrote a fabulous article about the medical, ethical and some legal issues regarding Terry’s case, you and read it here: A Tragedy Compounded

As you investigate the story of Terri Schiavo and the heartache experienced by those who loved her most, and the nation as a whole, you will better understand what the simple and easy solution could have been. If Terri had at some point prior to her collapse put into effect an “Advanced Medical Directive” with corresponding Power of Attorney, the whole mess could have been avoided. Terri would have been able to state what her desire was if something happened to her and what she wanted done, thus eliminating the fight which inevitable arises when deep emotional bonds are perceived to be lost when a loved on dies.

An experienced attorney can help you better deal with hard decisions and situations by making sure you affairs are in order before the need arises. Everyone over the age of 21, and especially those who are married and those who have children should have at the very least, a simple will, coupled with an Advanced Medical Directive so an ordeal like that of Terri Schiavo doesn’t happen to you or your loved ones.