Often times, most people avoid thinking about what will happen to their affairs and finances after they pass away. While it is a difficult situation to think about, it is essential to plan now so that your wishes will be met.
What is an Estate Plan?
An Estate Plan is a comprehensive plan composed of various legal documents that will ensure your wishes are met while you are alive and when you pass away. Each plan is different from one another. Examples include: Medicaid plans which allow you to qualify for Medicaid benefits and/or planning for a disabled individual which enables you to set aside assets in a trust for that disabled party.
Each plan is different but the goal is always to ensure your wishes are met.
What is a Will?
A Last Will and Testament is a written legal document used to communicate one's wishes after they pass away. It is an easy and simple way to make sure all of one's most prized possessions are distributed the way they intended.
In the Last Will, you will nominate an Executor who will be responsible for distributing assets pursuant to the terms of the Will. You will name beneficiaries who will be the individuals or organizations whom you wish to receive assets from your estate. The Will is also the document where you can appoint a Guardian for any minors or a Trustee to manage the assets for the minors or disabled party.
A Last Will is submitted to the respective Surrogate's Court for approval when a decedent passes away under the legal process of Probate. The Court will then validate the Will to legally appoint the named Executor(s).
What is a Trust?
A trust is a written legal document similar to a Last Will. Living trusts are effective during the lifetime of the Settlor or the Grantor. Testamentary Trusts are trusts that are created under the terms of a Will and do not become effective until death.
Living trusts are created during one's lifetime and can be either revocable or irrevocable. Irrevocable trusts are typically created for Medicaid planning purposes or to obtain favorable income tax or estate tax benefits.
A trust avoids probate and is therefore a legal document most people choose to minimize expenses and delay.
Ms. Salazar will create your individualized estate plan based on your wishes.