Estate Planning

How Trusts Can Help You Control Who Gets What [VIDEO]

A lot of people think trusts are only for the super-wealthy which is not entirely true. A trust can benefit anyone who wants to manage how they leave their money to their family. The trust can give you control over who gets what and when, how they get it, and why.

A trust can benefit anyone who wants to manage how they leave their money to their family.

Create Containers for Your Assets

Trusts are like containers you can put things into. You the grantor can place assets like your house, life insurance policies, investments and other possessions into a trust. These assets become property of the trust and are managed by your trustee.

Pick Someone You Can Trust

You appoint a trustee to ensure your wishes are carried out. As grantor, you decide who receives the assets inside your trust. Typically, your spouse, your children, grandchildren and charities of your choice are the beneficiaries who receive the assets held in trust.

Some trusts are designed to manage who receives your assets and others may offer tax planning benefits

Decide Where Your Money Will Go

When you create a trust you determine how the funds inside your trust will be used and when they will be dispersed. For example, you may want to use assets in your trust to jump-start your children’s careers when they are 25 or supplement their retirement when they turn 60. You may want to pay college tuition expenses for your grandchildren or provide annual scholarships to your Alma Mater. Your appointed trustee ensures everything is managed according to your instructions.

There Are Many Kinds of Trusts

It’s important to know there are different kinds of trust for different purposes. Some are designed to manage who receives your assets and others may offer tax planning benefits.

Here are some examples:

  • Living Trust
  • Special Needs Trust
  • Marital Trust
  • Credit Shelter Trust
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust
  • Charitable Remainder Trust
  • Qualified Personal Residential Trust

Make sure you work with financial experts so that your trust is properly structured to carry out your specific intentions. A trust can offer you and your family many financial advantages. You’ll want to talk with  an estate planning attorney find out how you can create a lasting legacy for those you love the most.

For more financial planning tips, download my free report: “8 Steps to Organize and Optimize Your Financial Life”. Thanks for reading!

Why You Need a Will and How to Create One [VIDEO]

Many people are not sure if they need a will because they don’t think they actually have an estate or they simply procrastinate in getting the document drafted. If you are wondering whether you have an estate or not, you most likely do. Simply put, if you own anything you have an estate. So, if you have any assets held outside qualified accounts (i.e. savings accounts, a house, cars, etc.) or have people you care about and/or rely on you (i.e. children, a spouse, etc.), you should have a will. The problem is most adults in America do not have a will. In fact, 58% of American adults don’t have one! So, here’s what you need to do to avoid being part of the 58%.

58% of adults in America do not have a will!

What is a Will?

A will is a legal document that defines who is going to take care of your children and outlines what to do with your assets when you’re gone. If you die without a will the state will decide who will inherit your assets. Having a will allows you, not the government, to control your assets after your death.

What is Involved in Creating a Will?

To do it right, I suggest working with a lawyer to make sure your will is structured properly so that it is valid and enforceable.

Here is a checklist of things to address:

• Name A Guardian: If your children are minors make sure you name a guardian for your kids.

• List of Assets Make a list of all your assets and where they are.

• Determine Values: Determine the values of your real estate, insurance policies, investments, business ownership, personal possessions and anything else that has economic or sentimental value to you or your family.

• Who Will Get Your Stuff?: Decide who will receive these assets and when (Typically your surviving spouse will be your primary beneficiary).

• Provide Instructions: Provide instructions on how and when to distribute assets to your children, grandchildren, and the Charities of your choice.

• Executor or trustee: Name an executor or trustee to oversee and carry out your instructions.

• Power of Attorney/Medical Directive: Grant the power of attorney to someone you trust to make health care and financial decisions if you are not able to make these decisions yourself.

• Update Regularly: Update your will every three years to make sure it fits your present situation and conforms to current state laws. This way you know your family, your loved ones, and your assets are all protected.

TIP: Update your will every 3 years to make sure it fits your present situation and conforms to current state laws.

When you have people who you care about and who count on you it’s best to prepare for the unexpected. So, if you don’t have a will in place now is the time to get going. If you do have a will but haven’t reviewed it in some time you may need to make updates.

Get Organized!

Getting all your stuff in order is one of the first steps you’ll need to take in order to prepare your will. The video below shows the online system we use to help our clients get organized. It helps gather the information you need to give your attorney so they can create your will. As a thank you for reading this post, I am offering free access to this great system to help you get started. Simply send me your email request at sweiss@weiss-financial.com and I’ll get you up and running quickly.

For more financial planning tips, download my free report: “8 Steps to Organize and Optimize Your Financial Life”. Thanks for reading!