Estate Planning - Not just for the Wealthy

Regardless of age or family circumstances, everyone should have an estate plan. Is yours in place and up to date?

In today’s society, a trust is not just for the wealthy. A will is a request while a trust is a contract. Below are some strategies to think about when preserving your estate:

  • Create and fund a revocable living trust for each spouse to avoid or minimize probate. Upon the death of the first spouse, the living trust becomes irrevocable and splits into a credit shelter trust and a trust for the benefit of the surviving spouse.

  • Execute a durable power of attorney and health care proxy for each spouse.

  • Consider naming a revocable living trust as the beneficiary for qualified retirement assets. Caution: This could cause taxation issues so consult a financial planner and a tax professional.

  • Think about gifting ownership of life insurance policies to an irrevocable life insurance trust.

  • Obtain Long Term Care Insurance

Glossary of Terms

Credit shelter trust.
A trust created at death that is funded with the federal estate tax exemption amount. It usually provides for income and discretionary principal payments to the surviving spouse with none of the trust assets becoming part of the surviving spouse's estate.

Durable power of attorney.
A document that appoints an agent to act for you if you are not able to do so.

Health care proxy.
A document that appoints an agent to make your health and medical care decisions if you are not able to do so.

Living will.
A document that expresses your wishes regarding health care if you are in a terminal condition or a permanent unconscious state.

Probate.
A legal proceeding to effect the transfer of probate assets (assets titled in your name alone) to your heirs. This is when your estate assets become vulnerable.

Revocable living trust.
A trust created during your lifetime that you can control and change. If it is funded with your assets, you may avoid or minimize probate.

To learn more about Estate Planning and its benefits to both you and your loved ones, call a Creating & Managing Wealth representative today.


Estate Planning

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