This is the second in our three part “important estate planning questions” series. An essential part of the estate planning process is getting your questions answered and your concerns addressed. Below you will find answers to many of your estate planning questions, but you are likely to have additional questions as well. Be sure to consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.
When is a living will effective?
Your living will is only effective in end-of-life situations where you are no longer able to communicate your wishes to your doctor. A doctor must examine you and declare that your living will is effective.
Traditionally, my family has a funeral with an open casket. Can I still be an organ donor?
Absolutely. Organ donation does not affect the ability to have an open casket. And, you’ll be saving up to 8 lives and improving the lives of many others such as burn victims and trauma victims. On average, there are more than 100,000 on the organ donation list at any one time.
Can I incorporate a pet trust in my revocable living trust?
Sure. You can make provisions for the care of your beloved pets in your own trust. You will select a trustee and caretaker (and successors for each.) You can leave as much instruction as you would like regarding your pets’ care.
Do I really have to fund my trust?
Funding your trust is the only way to avoid probate. So, if probate avoidance is a goal, trust funding is a must. In addition, during any period of disability, your disability trustee can only manage assets in your trust.
It can be a hassle of paperwork and forms, but your estate planning attorney, financial advisor, life insurance agent, and banker can help you. Be sure to check and make sure your assets are actually in your trust.