What Factors Should You Consider When Planning Your Estate?

What Factors Should You Consider When Planning Your Estate

Here are some factors you consider when planning your estate.

  1. What are your major goals.  Protecting your assets, protecting yourself, protecting your children, or avoiding probate.
  2. Do any of your children receive means tested government benefits.  That is, benefits that depend on how much they have or how much they make.  You can still leave money for their care and benefit without destroying their eligibility for the benefits.
  3. Are any of your children addicts?  Are they addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or anything else detrimental.  With a Trust you can make sure they get an inheritance, but don’t get a lump sum payment.  You can make sure they have a place to live without ever giving them the money directly to pay for rent or utilities.  The Trustee can be put in charge of paying rent and bills.
  4. Do any of your children have rocky marriages?  If so, you can setup a Trust that will shield the money from divorce.
  5. Are any of you children poor money managers?  A Trust can dole money out to them slowly while protecting the principal from creditors.
  6. Who do you want in charge of your personal, financial, and legal affairs if you aren’t able to manage them anymore?
  7. Who do you want in charge of your healthcare decisions if you can’t make them?
  8. What medical treatments would you want and not want if you were unable to make medical decisions?
  9. Do you want to avoid Probate?

These are just some of the factors you consider when planning your estate.  A professional planner can help you work through the others.

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