A Trust is a conduit through which you can direct the disposition of your assets. Trusts can be irrevocable or revocable, and serve a variety of different purposes.
In most estate plans, the type of Trust included is a Revocable Living Trust. A Revocable Living Trust is generally intended to receive all of the assets in your individual name at death through your Last Will & Testament. Ordinarily, the majority of your assets will be held in trust during your lifetime and need not be transferred into the trust after your death. Upon your death, the Revocable Living Trust is designed to distribute your assets in accordance with your wishes.
During your lifetime, all appropriate assets must be transferred into the name of your Revocable Living Trust to assist in avoiding Probate at your death. Initially, you are the Trustee (the person who controls trust assets). Upon your becoming incapacitated (or death), a Successor Trustee is named to manage the Trust assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries.
Durable Power of Attorney for Finance
A Durable Power of Attorney for Finance names an “Agent” to handle financial transactions for assets in your individual name. The agent may be given power immediately or may be given power only in the event that you become incapacitated. This document will only have effect during your lifetime, and it will only give the agent control over assets in your individual name.
Advance Health Care Directive & HIPAA Authorization & Release
The Advance Health Care Directive sets forth your directive regarding the prolonging of life under certain circumstances. It names an “Agent” to make medical, end-of-life and personal care decisions if you cannot do so yourself. It also allows you to set forth your wishes regarding burial or cremation and organ donation.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. This is included in the estate plan to assist the fiduciaries appointed in obtaining medical information in the event it should become necessary for your situation.
Personalized Estate Planning Services
We take the time to ensure that you understand your documents and that they are personalized to achieve your goals. Have the security of knowing that your Estate Plan was drafted by an attorney, not a paralegal or a drafting program. We make a commitment to our clients not to use a “cookie cutter” approach to creating their Estate Plan.