"Protect"

One of our clients' primary concerns when putting together an estate plan is how they can "Protect" their estate from unnecessary legal, family disagreements, unneeded taxes, incorrect or contested asset distributions. What we find out is that the majority of our clients want to "Protect" their assets through the distribution process, but in trying to do this, they actually increase the probability of a legal, liability claim or contested Will for their estate through no fault of their own. When they place their children's names on their assets, it actually co-mingles everything with their entire extended family. They didn't know how a divorce, bankruptcy, unforeseen health event or death of an adult child could and often times does place everything they worked so hard for at risk. At ND Estate Services we take the time to educate our clients on the "best-practices-approach" that soundly "Protects" our clients' assets during their lifetime, in their passing, and through the distributions to the family. Also, many people think having a Revocable Trust protects your assets from the nursing home! NO! They DO NOT! A Trust will not do that or even protect your estate from creditors. If will want to protect your estate from the nursing home, the best thing you can do is to purchase a nursing home policy. A Trust is simply designed for your estate to by-pass "Probate Court" and have a private, uncontested, estate settlement for your family. This is assuming all of the assets were properly "funded" and "retitled" into your trust.

"Preserve"

What do we mean by "Preserve" and what are you trying to preserve?? In this context, it specifically relates to your family's legacy, land assets and financial value to your heirs. What are your goals and objectives for your estate? Are you trying to "Preserve" assets for the next generation, such as land assets? If this is one of the objectives of your estate, it all starts with having the proper estate plan. If you have a trust, are your assets properly "funded" into the name of your Revocable Living Trust? If not, your trust won't do what you planned for it to do for your estate. Also, having a Trust will not preserve your assets from creditors or from the nursing home. If you want this to happen the best thing you can do is purchase a nursing home policy.

"Pass-on"

"Pass-on" refers to your passing away. If you have done any planning, when this day happens, you will either have one of these two documents: Last Will and Testament or a Revocable Living Trust. If you decide not to engage in this process and do nothing, you have made the ultimate decision and have died "intestate". This is where a judge, who is a stranger to you and your family, will decide everything regarding your estate and asset distributions, as well as Probate Court fees, attorney fees, public record notifications.

Let me ask you? Do you know how to make sure your family gets to keep 100% of what you want them to have? Is this important to you?

Next Steps...

Do you have a trust setup for your estate? When was the last time your funding was reviewed? Just about every trust I have reviewed they were missing some vital funding element. Trusts need to be reviewed annually. If you don't fund it properly it'll just make a mess for the family. Were there's a Will there's a Probate...