Can You Lose Your Assets

Yes, assets can be lost if they are not properly documented. There is a great opportunity to inventory what you own as you go through the estate planning process. Your attorney is your guide, and the architect, but you are the Trustor – the decision maker. It is so important to share, with your attorney,Continue reading “Can You Lose Your Assets”

Finding a New Trustee

If you are a beneficiary of a trust, you have likely experienced some challenges in communicating with your trustee. There are limits to what your Trustee can do, or say, however it is always reasonable to expect courtesy and prompt responses (even if the answer is “No”). What happens if you really wish you hadContinue reading “Finding a New Trustee”

When Does Your Estate Plan Go To Work For You?

The three triggering events in the typical estate plan are: Incapacity – Your documents might say two physicians are to examine you, and if they determine that you have lost capacity to manage your own affairs, they will each write a letter saying so. Resignation – You sign a resignation letter, prepared by your attorney,Continue reading “When Does Your Estate Plan Go To Work For You?”

Keeping Your Plan Up to Date and Private

We are talking about your estate plan. The details of how personal property gets handled, how funds are disbursed, and how much you give to your beneficiaries, are completely up to you as Trustor (Creator, Settlor, Grantor) of your trust. You can change your mind several times throughout your life, as long as you haveContinue reading “Keeping Your Plan Up to Date and Private”

How to Keep the Right Attorney For You

If you are looking for an estate planning attorney, please read: How to Find the Right Estate Planning Attorney for You – for those who have the estate planning attorney they feel understands their needs, and provides great service, here are few tips to keep that relationship running smoothly. Periodic Updates – Keeping your estateContinue reading “How to Keep the Right Attorney For You”

When We Think We Know Our Family

Estate Planning is often challenging because there are so many issues to consider. We are often distracted by our fears of death, loss, and conflict. For more about what we are planning for, please see The Mystery of Estate Planning Revealed. This post is more about the assumptions we make about our own family members,Continue reading “When We Think We Know Our Family”

What is Your Trust Made of?

Once your estate planning documents are completed, there is still work to do. The word of art “Funding” describes the process of completing forms to change the title of asset ownership from your personal name to the name of your trust. This is not usually a taxable transfer as at this stage the tax identificationContinue reading “What is Your Trust Made of?”

What Happens When You Become “Incapacitated”?

For some, Incapacity is scarier than Death. Having worked with over 100 families, I can tell you that incapacity is unique to each individual. Here is an example to help you think about how you might like to prepare for your own incapacity. As always, I recommend that you discuss your concerns and feelings withContinue reading “What Happens When You Become “Incapacitated”?”

“You will always be the Trustor of your own Trust, but not always the Trustee”

Once having created a Trust of your own (with the help of a qualified estate planning attorney, of course) you become the “Trustor”, or Creator/Settlor/Grantor of that Trust. If you are married, you and your spouse are both Trustors. You may also be the first Trustee of your Trust, but this role is quite different.Continue reading ““You will always be the Trustor of your own Trust, but not always the Trustee””