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Helmets and Handlebars? What Does That Have to Do With Estate Planning?!

I’d like to take just a moment to make an analogy with the hope of helping our readers understand a critical aspect of estate planning with a trust. Please indulge me as I confess and embarrass myself in the process.

When I was younger, my mother was quite the stickler for always making sure I wore a bicycle helmet when I rode my bike. But, of course, I always thought I was too cool to wear that dorky thing, and plus – all the other kids weren’t doing it, so I didn’t want to either!

So here’s the confession: I would wear the helmet just until I was out of her sight, and then take it off and ride the rest of the way with it dangling from my handlebars. Crazy, right? What was I thinking?!? That’s the problem – I wasn’t thinking. Now fast forward a decade or so, and now I make certain my girls always wear their helmets when they ride their bikes. Ironic, isn’t it?

So why do I tell this story, and what does it have to do with estate planning?  Well, you see, riding a bicycle with your helmet dangling from the handlebars is a lot like creating a trust and never funding it. As a reminder, funding a trust means the process of putting all your assets into the name of your trust. Just as a bicycle helmet on your handlebars would do you no good if you ever crashed, having a trust with no assets inside at the time of your death will do absolutely no good as well.

At MH, we take funding very seriously and will do whatever we can to help our clients get all their assets into their trust. This includes writing letters, making phone calls, answering emails, etc. We know that an unfunded trust is not worth any more than the paper it is printed on.

We advise our clients to regularly review their assets to make sure all their assets are titled in the name of their trust, and, for their retirement accounts, to make sure the beneficiary designations are set up properly. If you have any questions about how to properly fund your MH trust, please contact us immediately at 888.222.1328 so we can help you.

The last thing I want is to see you riding down the street with your helmet on your handlebars!

MH_iphone_splashWhat the Attorneys of Morris Hall Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down.  The attorneys also help those in Arizona and New Mexico to apply for and receive Medicaid assistance and Veterans Benefits.  Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.


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