Estate Planning

Why Plan ?!

  1. It keeps you and your loved ones from incurring unnecessary legal costs.
  2. Enables one to retain control of their property while still alive regardless of  age, health or financial condition.
  3. Provides instructions on how you intend to take care of yourself and your loved ones in the event of disability.
  4. Allows one to give what they have to who they want.
  5. A frequently reviewed estate plan will protect one from changes in the law that may affect taxation or protection of assets.

Estate Planning documentation

A Will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of the minor children.

Reasons for creating one:

  • To be able to have sole discretion over the distribution of your assets
  • To provide for your minor children, a will lets you provide for their care.
  • To minimizes tensions between survivors
  • To leave assets for charity

NO Will?

  • This means you die intestate, and the courts have to be involved to oversee distribution of your assets.
  • Minor children in your care may not receive that which you may prefer the receive on your demise.
  • It will potentially cause a conflict within the family.

Property not to include in a Will:

  • Community property
  • Life insurance payouts
  • Joint assets with survivorship rights & investment accounts that are designated as transfer on death.

Changing a Will

One can change a Will by replacing it with a new one or write a Codicil to add new assets for example.

What do you need to create a Will:

  • List of your assets
  • List of your debts
  • 2 Witnesses who will not benefit from the will.
  • An Executor who will be incharge of overseeing the distribution of your assets
  • A Trustee to be in charge of any trusts you create…the Executor and Trustee can be the same person.
A codicil is a supplement to a Will.

If you want to make a small change to your will, instead of rewriting your entire Will, make the change by creating a Codicil to the Will.

With a will codicil, you can revoke a clause, reword it, or change it completely.

A Trust creates a relationship where property is held by one party for the benefit of another.

It is created by a Settlor, who transfers some or all of his or her property to a trustee. The trustee holds that property for the trust’sb eneficiaries.

 

Common terms include:

  • Appointer: This is the person who can appoint a new trustee or remove an existing one. This person is usually mentioned in the trust deed.
  • Appointment: Means both;
    • the act of giving an asset from the trust to a beneficiary or
    • the name of the document which gives effect to the appointment.
  • As Trustee For (ATF): An entity is acting as a trustee.
  • Beneficiary: A beneficiary is anyone who receives benefits from any assets the trust owns.
  • Protector: A person who has some control over the trustee—usually including a power to dismiss the trustee and appoint another. 
  • Settlor: This is the person who creates the trust.
  • Trust deed: Defines the trust such as the trustee, beneficiaries, settlor and appointer, and the terms and conditions of the agreement.
  • Trust distributions: Any income or asset that is given out to the beneficiaries of the trust.
  • Trustee: The entity or individual who administers a trust. 
A written document in which one person, called the principal/donor/grantor, appoints another person to act as an agent on his or her behalf, thus conferring authority on the agent to perform certain acts or functions on behalf of the principal.  

A power of attorney generally is terminated when the principal dies or becomes incompetent, but the principal can revoke the power of attorney at any time.

Reasons for a power of attorney

  • Provides the ability to choose who will make decisions for you (rather than a court)..
  • Avoids the necessity of a guardianship or conservatorship.
  • Provides family members a good opportunity to discuss wishes and desires.
  • The more comprehensive the power of attorney, the better.
  • Prevents questions about principal’s intent.
  • Prevents delays in asset protection planning.
  • Protects the agent from claims of financial abuse.
  • Allows agents to talk to other agencies.
  • Allows an agent to perform planning and transactions to make the principal eligible for public benefits.
  • Provides peace of mind for everyone involved.

 

Wills & Codicil

This is a very simple Will, for a couple who has children or minors dependent on them, but do not intend to create a trust.

This Will allow you to bequeath all manner of property from real property to cash and stock. This Will also provides for creation of guardianship for your children.

Clauses in this Will also provides for:

  • Guardianship i.e. placing your children or dependants in the care of a certain person known as the guardian.
  • That all expenses and liabilities you leave are to be catered for from your estate-these may include hospital and funeral expenses.
  • That should a Beneficiary die before or at the same time as you, then the property will be part of the Residue property.
  • Any incapacitation by a beneficiary shall halt the bequest until such bequest passes on

Get Started

This is a Will, for a couple who wish to create a Trust for their children and/or minors dependent on them.

Clauses in this Will also provides for:

  • Guardianship for children/dependents.
  • The Creation of a Trust. This is to say if you have dependents (individuals or organizations) you can set aside property to be managed by another, for the benefit of your dependents.
  • That all expenses and liabilities you leave are to be catered for from your estate-these may include hospital and funeral expenses.
  • That should a Beneficiary die before or at the same time as you, then the property will be part of the Residue property.
  • Any incapacitation by a beneficiary shall halt the bequest until such bequest passes on

Get Started

This is a very simple Will, for someone who has children or minors dependent on him/her.

This Will allow you to bequeath all manner of property from real property to cash and stock.

This Will also provides for creation of Trusts for minors under your care.

Clauses in this Will also provides for:

  • The Creation of a Trust. This is to say if you have minor children or dependants you can set aside property to be managed by another, for the benefit of your dependants.
  • Guardianship i.e. placing your children or dependants in the care of a certain person known as the guardian.
  • That all expenses and liabilities you leave are to be catered for from your estate-these may include hospital and funeral expenses.
  • That should a Beneficiary die before or at the same time as you, then the property will be part of the Residue property.
  • Any incapacitation by a beneficiary shall halt the bequest until such bequest passes o

Get Started

This is used when one wants to revise their Will. A codicil to a Will ensures the changes made to the Will are legal and enforceable. Get Started
This is a very simple Will, for a couple without children and do not intend to create a Trust.

This Will allow you to bequeath all manner of property from real property to cash and stock. 

Clauses in this Will also provides for:

  • Bequeathing of property.
  • That all expenses and liabilities you leave are to be catered for from your estate-these may include hospital and funeral expenses.
  • That should a Beneficiary die before or at the same time as you, then the property will be part of the Residue property.
  • Any incapacitation by a beneficiary shall halt the bequest until such bequest passes on.

Coming Soon

Power of Attorney

A General power of Attorney allows an agent to conduct any sort of business on behalf of the principal. Third parties may treat the agent as if he or she is the principal in any transactions that the agent is authorized to conduct. Get Started

The health care power of attorney designates someone to be your representative, or agent, in the event you are unable to make or communicate decisions about all aspects of your health care.

Get Started

A Power of Attorney gives someone you trust the ability to make decisions in your absence. Help ensure your children get the care they need, no matter what happens, with a Power of Attorney for Child.

Two Parent Get Started

Single Parent Get Started

A Durable Power of Attorney selects a responsible agent to make decisions in the event that you’re incapacitated or otherwise incapable of making financial or healthcare decisions.

Get Started

Revokes previously created POAs. Get Started
A special power of attorney narrows what choices the agent can make. You can even make several different POAs, with different agents for each. Get Started

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