A properly drafted estate plan ensures your hard-earned assets can go to your beneficiaries rather than the government. It will guarantee who makes decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated; it incorporates remarriage protection and necessary protection for your beneficiaries’ assets.
At Morris Hall, we keep up-to-date with changing laws and can help devise a plan that is written properly to ensure you and your beneficiaries are best protected.
Call today to schedule a free consultation at (888) 222-1328 or visit morristrust.com/contact-us
Mistake #1One of the most important reasons to establish a trust is that it avoids your beneficiaries going through a process called probate, where the state and/or federal government gets involved. The process is expensive, time consuming and all records are public. Not only can there be a probate after death for those without a trust, it can also apply if you become mentally disabled, or incapacitated, such as a bad injured from a car accident or stroke. A living probate means you’re assigned a court-appointed conservator and guardian. These individuals are responsible for making decisions for you rather than your spouse, children or relatives.
Mistake #2Typically, after people write an estate plan, they don’t come back to reevaluate it. However, an individual’s circumstances and/or laws oftentimes change. For this reason, it is important to revisit your estate plan periodically to ensure it is written in a way that minimizes adverse effects and maximizes any benefits to changing laws or circumstances. Family changes can include:
• Trustee • Power of Attorney
• Births, adoptions, marriages
• Special needs situations
• Change in your assets
Mistake #3Does your trust include protection from nursing home costs? These costs can dissolve your family nest egg. Believe it or not, the average cost per year for a semi-private room in a nursing home in the state of Arizona is $77,928… and that cost is likely to continue to increase in the future. If you don’t have your trust set up properly, you could be forced to use all of your money aside from $2,000 before the state will start paying for your nursing home care. This is a concern for the surviving spouse to have enough money to live off of. We can help you plan properly so you can preserve your assets.
Mistake #4When setting up your trust, you’re ensuring those closest to you are left with the gift of your legacy. The last thing you want is your assets unnecessarily taxed, rather than going to your loved ones. Are you taking advantage of all available provisions in your trust to minimize taxes? Very few documents include all available provisions, such as:
• Estate Tax
• Income Tax on Retirement Assets
• Capital Gains Tax
We can help protect your legacy.
Mistake #5Do you have remarriage protection included in your estate, which protects your assets if your spouse remarries after you pass?
This is a topic most couples don’t consider when they plan for the unexpected. But it is an important one. You don’t want your assets going to your spouse’s new spouse should they pass, or their children, in lieu of your own children.
You can also make a prevision in your estate for your new spouse without all your assets going to them rather than your children. This is a great option for blended families. Make sure your estate has this important component.
Mistake #6Estate planning is designed to protect your loved ones when you pass. But you may not realize, protection is needed for your beneficiaries to ensure they are protected from:
• Medical expenses
• Irresponsible spending (which is often the case with very young beneficiaries)
Mistake #7Healthcare documents are state specific. It is vitally important that they are reviewed regularly and kept updated. Having incomplete healthcare documents can be detrimental–It can avoid strangers making decisions about your care, at possibly the worst time in your life, and taking your assets.
It is very important to have the proper and current healthcare documents, such as the Living Will, Healthcare Power of Attorney, HIPAA Medical form, and in Arizona, a Mental Healthcare Power of Attorney.
Mistake #8Join Morris Hall Attorneys, Tim Hall and Michael Halliday, as they talk about one of the last common mistakes made in estate planning. Making sure your family is aware of your plan.
If you set up a plan and forget to inform your loved ones about what you have set up, it can cause confusion and disappointment.
Only having a will does not avoid probate. Ensure you have a plan in place with a properly created trust, share where your documents are located and the details of your wishes, so there are no surprises.