Tailored To Your Needs
Tailored To Your Needs
Trusts have a specific purpose. Trusts can avoid probate, set aside a portion of an estate to insulate from estate tax, hold funds for a specific goal (ie education, elder care), hold life insurance proceeds, protect funds for special needs of an individual, and many other reasons. A Trust is a contract. The Successor Trustee, typically an adult child, steps up to fulfill the terms of the contract (Trust). This is usually without court supervision.
A Will is a last testament of our wishes as to our property and perhaps as it relates to our minor children (nomination of guardian). A Will makes our wishes known, but must be filed with court and probated to be followed. Probate is an official court process governed by statute that requires a Personal Representative to publish a notice to creditors, wait a mandatory period of time to allow creditors to come forward and seek a court's permission to follow the Will at the time of Distribution. As a court supervised process, probate requires reporting to the court and fulfilling statutory duties, like paying the final bills of decedent. Since it is structured and court supervised, expect attorney fees to help the PR fulfill their statutory duties and a mandatory wait time of four months. Will preparation can be a cost effective means to ensure your wishes are known.
Depending on your goal and family situation, a simple Will may suffice. But if you have strings attached to your funds, a specific purpose like special needs or a Credit Shelter Trust, or if you don't want your family to go through Probate, a Trust is a flexible document that will maintain your privacy and can distribute your estate often before a probate matter is closed.
Because needs vary, there are many tools available to fulfill your goals. There is even an option to create a Trust in your Will - for times when your Trust is contingent on something, like having minor children that need funds protected. Let us assist you in determining the best approach to your particular goal.
Do you even need a Will? Yes! If you don't write one, then the State of Oregon wrote one for you and it says you leave your assets to your children in equal shares, including your deceased children's kids by right of representation. But your PR will have to obtain a bond (insurance policy) or be subjected to strict oversight, including having to ask for permission to liquidate. The bond and request to sell property usually cost more than it costs to prepare a Will.
Your needs are specific and we know this! Trusts and Wills are a mainstay of our estate planning practice. Set up a time to review your needs for estate planning.
Preparation for the times when you cannot manage your assets or speak for yourself is important to how you live. A well planned estate includes documents that help you transfer your assets after your life, but also includes documents to assist you while you are alive but need a fiduciary.
This document helps medical professionals work with your chosen representative during your final illness when you cannot speak for yourself.
Appoints your Agent, and an alternative, who can manage financial accounts that are in your individual name during your lifetime.
Beware Federal Gift Tax! For many reasons, this is not a good idea. You saved to provide care as you age and once you gift it away, you can't rely on getting it back in your time of need. Medicaid will not provide benefits (to the amount of your gift) if you gifted a substantial amount of assets within 5 years of your application. Also, if your donee is foreclosured on and you gifted your home, you too could be out of roof over your head. And finally, when we gift more than the annual exclusion amount, the person making the gift, NOT the recipient of the gift, pays the gift tax!
If your family member passed away and left property in his or her name, a probate is likely unless there is a Trust. There are minor exceptions (ie vehicles). If someone else's name is on the property, like a spouse, it likely won't require a probate. If of modest value, a Small Estate process may apply.
This is our most common estate administration (probate). To initiate probate, we need the original will and death certificate. You will also need all relevant parties' names and addresses.
If there is an alternate PR nominated, we petition the court to allow the alternate to serve as PR. In addition, we prepare the paperwork for the first nominated PR to decline service and file both documents together.
Yes! But if your children are subject to a trust and your nominated PR is no longer in your life, it may be time to update the Will. Since so many statutes have been implemented and case law has changed, along with your family and assets, it's probably time to review your estate plan. If it still works, we won't change it.
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