When you think about estate planning, the document called a last will or last will and testament might come to mind. You can use a last will to state your final wishes regarding the transfer of your monetary assets. If you are the parent of a minor child, you can also nominate a guardian in your last will.
A last will can be a suitable choice for some people, but you do have other options with regard to asset transfer vehicles. If you use a last will, the will must be admitted to probate after you pass away. Probate is the legal process of estate administration.
This process can be time-consuming and expensive, and as a result, many people look for ways to avoid it.
One very popular probate avoidance tool is the revocable living trust. With this type of trust you continue to control the assets while you are living. After you die, the trustee that you name in the trust agreement can distribute assets to the beneficiaries outside of the process of probate.
If you have a revocable living trust in place, you should still have a certain type of will that is called a pour-over will.
When you create the revocable living trust, you may not convey everything that you own into it right away. You may also acquire property over the course of your life after you create the trust, and this property may remain in your direct personal possession at the time of your passing.
With a pour-over will, you allow the revocable living trust to capture the assets that were still in your personal possession.
A living will is another type of will that should be part of your estate plan. This type of will has nothing to do with financial matters.
If you were to become unable to communicate while in a terminal condition with no hope of recovery, would you want to be kept alive indefinitely through the use of artificial life-sustaining measures? You use a living will to express your preferences regarding the use of life support measures.
Ethical wills have been used since biblical times. With this type of will you share your moral and spiritual values with your loved ones.
When you share your “rules to live by” with your family members, you are leaving behind a heartfelt gift that money simply cannot buy.
Learn More About Wills
If you would like to learn more about wills and other estate planning instruments, contact us through this link to schedule a free consultation: Ashland KY Estate Planning Attorney.