Whatever the value of your estate, it is very important that you plan for what will happen to your assets after your death that’s why you should Write a Living Trust.
A living trust can offer you the peace of mind not only your family will be provided for but also that your wishes will be followed after your death.
When done correctly, a living trust may also assure a quick distribution of your assets, avoid unnecessary taxes and keep your wishes private as well.
Make a List of All Your Assets
Make list to of your resources that includes everything you have. Assets are everything from real items like your home, car and jewellery to intangible ones such as stocks, bonds and life insurance coverages.
Having this list in front of you will give you a clearer picture of your property and help you determine how you’d like it distributed once you are gone.
Find the Paperwork for Your Assets
Just as it’s important to hire a attorney & list all your assets with there asset values before writing the living trust, be sure you have all the paperwork –names, deeds, stock certificates, life insurance policies, etc.– in order and ready to hand over to the lawyer which is going to be preparing your living trust.
Having all of this ready will enable your attorney to have a running start as your resources need to be transferred to the trust to be able to”fund” it.
Choose Beneficiaries and then Write a Living Trust
You will have to name beneficiaries, those who will receive assets upon your death, so plan on who should get what before you sit down to compose the living trust. Beneficiaries may include family, friends or organizations (including charities).
You might also want to consider who you don’t want to get anything at all and go over this with the attorney also.
Keep in mind that in the event you have named beneficiaries on insurance policies or retirement or savings accounts, these may conflict with your plans regarding the living trust.
Be sure to let the attorney know of these possible trouble spots in order to avoid legal fights among beneficiaries after your death.
Choose a Successor Trustee
With a living trust, you will name yourself as the trustee so that you continue to have control over your assets during the course of your lifetime.
Your successor trustee, though, will pay your debts and distribute your assets according to your instructions upon your death, so be sure to select someone you trust.
Moreover, in the event of your incapacitation, your successor trustee would also be the one to manage your affairs.
Choose a Guardian for Your Minor Children
Although you cannot designate a guardian for your minor children through a living trust, you should still think about who you would wish to look after them in case of your death.
You can include this information in a”pour-over will,” which also provides for the distribution of any assets acquired after the invention of the living trust but until your departure or any assets inadvertently excluded.