Did you know that August 3rd to 9th is National Simplify Your Life Week? If you did you probably didn’t add estate planning to the list of things you were going to do to simplify your life. Not many people consider a meeting with an attorney as an act toward simplifying their lives but planning for your family after your death is a way to make your life and your loved ones’ lives easier.
One great way to simplify and organize your estate during your lifetime and after your death is a revocable living trust. A trust allows you to organize all of your assets, both real and personal property and financial accounts, under one umbrella during your lifetime and then control the disposition of those assets when you pass away. It is also a wonderful way to designate the right people to be in charge, and control how beneficiaries receive their inheritance, whether outright or in trust with distributions at different ages.
A trust in combination with an appointment of guardian for minor children will also simplify the transition for any minor children that you hope to provide for after your passing. A minor’s trust is a way to avoid costly guardianships of the estate. Leaving your assets to a minor in trust will eliminate the need for additional court involvement and allow the minor to have access to trust assets for education, travel and other expenses that will enrich the minor’s life. Additionally, using a document to appoint a guardian of your minor children if necessary eliminates any confusion or infighting between family members if a guardian is ever needed. You choose who will care for your child and make decisions regarding the child’s physical welfare. A guardian and a trustee can work in tandem to ensure that your minor child is properly cared for and supported after you’re going, simplifying the lives of all involved parties.
Having a will is another way to simplify things when you pass away. A will allows you to pick someone to be in charge of distributing your estate upon your death. You can list people you trust and are best suited for the job. You are also able to list who will receive your property when you pass away and how the property will be distributed to them. A properly written will also make the probate process significantly easier, eliminating lengthy extra steps and additional attorneys’ fees.
As you’re testing out the newest app recommended to simplify your to do list, why not add estate planning so that you can simplify your estate during your lifetime and after your death.