When you think about estate planning, you may feel as though the process involves a choice between a will or a trust of some kind. Many people are under this impression, but even if you use a trust, you should be aware of the fact that there are different types of wills. The last will that you can use as an asset transfer vehicle is not the only type of will that can be used when you are planning your estate.
If you have a revocable living trust, you would still want to have two different types of wills at minimum. One of them is a living will. This is an advance directive for health care, and it has nothing to do with monetary matters.
Physicians can sometimes keep people alive for indefinite periods of time using artificial measures, even if the condition is terminal. You can state your life-support preferences if you include a living will in your estate plan.
When you establish a living trust, you may have assets in your possession that you never conveyed into the trust. To account for this, you could create a pour-over will. This will would allow the trust to capture assets that were in your direct personal possession at the time of your passing.
The last will that we will look at here is a very interesting document that has been around since biblical times. Ethical wills have been traditionally used to pass along moral and spiritual values. When you think about it, elders are often receptacles of wisdom and balance that family members can turn to for guidance and advice.
You cannot be around forever, but you could record your values in an ethical will. If you do, loved ones and those who have not yet been born will have somewhere to turn for insight.
Estate Planning Seminars
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In addition to this channel, we also offer seminars on an ongoing basis that are held at various locations throughout the greater Indianapolis area. The seminars are free, but we do ask that you register in advance. To see the schedule, visit this page: Estate Planning Seminars.
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Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.