Most people find it unpleasant to spend time thinking about what they will leave behind for their loved ones after they pass on. But failure to plan for the inevitable can lead to much more unpleasantness and stress for your family and friends during an already trying time. Here are some of the ways lawyers who specialize in estate planning St Johns County can help you avoid that situation.
Last Wills and Testaments
When you think of estate planning, last wills and testaments are likely the first things that come to mind. This is very reasonable. If you’re working on estate planning St Johns County, your last will and testament should be the first step you take. This will help divide your assets according to your wishes at the time of your passing. Failure to have a will exposes your loved ones to probate court where a judge will determine who receives what.
There are four basic types of living trusts: First, there are charitable trusts, which designate sums of money for a nonprofit cause of the trustee’s choice with tax benefits. Next, there are revocable trusts, which allow the individual to move money around as they see fit. There are irrevocable trusts, in which money cannot be moved once it has been dedicated. These are advantageous for people like doctors and lawyers who might face lawsuits; if they designate money to fight against litigation, it will always be there. Finally, asset protection trusts are established for a fixed amount of time so creditors cannot claim them. Assets in this sort of trust revert to the trust holder when this period expires.
If a client is in the position where they would be subject to estate tax, an estate planning attorney can find them the best appropriate and legal ways to minimize the amount of money that is taken by the government from their beneficiaries when they pass.
Estate planning attorneys are experts in making sure your money goes where you want it to after you’re gone. You don’t want to think about it, but you can’t afford to!