Navigating the complexities of creating a will, trust, or complete estate plan can be a difficult process, but it can benefit you greatly. Before you reach out to Mierendorf Law Offices, P.C. for your consultation, find simple answers to common questions to help you understand your situation here.
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LEARN ABOUT LIVING WILLS AND MEDICAL DIRECTIVES
A living will or medical directive is a legally binding document that appoints a trustee to handle a deceased person's estate and directs distribution as well as appointing a guardian for minor children.
As wills are a public record, when filed they begin a long process that can cost up to 8% of the estate's value when going through a probate.
WHY SHOULD I ESTABLISH A REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST?
A revocable living trust is a legal option that can handle all of the appointments that a will would cover, but also provides a quick distribution of assets to beneficiaries or asset protection for them.
This can be useful in a situation where a child inherits money but cannot handle effectively, so the trust can pay the bills and disburse money periodically.
When you create a revocable living trust, you can rest assured that it will remain private and never become part of a public record. There are no probate costs associated with asset distribution and assets are protected for the surviving spouse who may choose to remarry.
This trust can also protect dependents with special needs.
HOW DO LIVING TRUSTS WORK?
A trust is not effective until you change the title of your assets to the name of the trust. Once this occurs, you can serve as a trustee and pay bills or spend money as you normally do.
Upon death, these assets will not need to be probated and the successor trustee will take over, distributing your assets as per your wishes. This will ensure your estate does not go through a probate court, become part of a public record, and will maintain the privacy of your affairs.
Only assets in the name of the trust will be distributed per the terms of the trust. You retain the right to revoke the trust and appoint or remove trustees.
Intake form (pdf)
Estate Plan (pdf)
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