Many Virginia residents can benefit from an estate plan. Although a will can help ensure the division and distribution of your property according to your wishes, there are aspects of the distribution it cannot dictate. We often assist clients in creating an estate plan that meets their unique needs.
According to Fidelity, a trust is a legal arrangement that facilitates the transfer of property to a trustee. As part of your estate plan, it lets you retain control of your wealth while you are alive and maintain control of your beneficiaries’ asset disbursement after you die. Trusts can help you adapt to changing financial needs, regardless of whether you are just starting out or preparing for retirement.
Getting married or remarried
If you are planning a wedding, it’s an ideal time to create an estate plan or review your beneficiaries and make appropriate updates if you have an existing plan. It is especially critical if this is a second or subsequent marriage, and your previous spouse was your primary beneficiary. A will can minimize familial disagreements, but by adding a trust, you can reduce the expense of probate and also indicate how your beneficiaries receive your wealth.
Starting a new business
Being your own boss and having a business is a dream for many. If you take the plunge and become a business owner, either on your own or with partners, deciding on the structure is an essential component of the setup phase. Ensure you have the assets titled appropriately in your estate plan and review your beneficiaries. If you wish the business to remain with family members, you can fund the next generation’s ownership/management through gift strategies and trusts.
Planning for the final phase of your life, including retirement, managing an unexpected health crisis and long-term medical needs, is essential. Using estate planning instruments such as advance medical directives, living wills and revocable trusts can help you maintain control of your assets and help provide for your comfort.