For many families, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced disorienting uncertainty into planning for the future. With cases again on the rise and the timing and efficacy of any vaccine unclear, many of us feel we cannot make meaningful plans for the near future, much less plan for 10, 15, or 20 years down the road.
However, there is one way families can bring greater certainty and security to their lives in this uncertain time: creating a well-drafted estate plan. For example:
- Are you worried about how your children’s education will be paid for if you are not around? A trust funded with your assets can take care of this.
- Worried about a child with high needs?A special needs trust can provide for the child and supplement his or her quality of life without jeopardizing eligibility for public benefits.
- Have concerns about the continuity and future success of your business? Your estate plan can implement succession planning, and you can provide specific directives about your wishes for your business in a trust.
- Have liability concerns about your rental property? It may make sense to create a limited liability company to insulate the rest of your assets from liability claims, a process that is much simpler than it sounds.
- Do you fear that the next generation will be burdened with paying taxes when you are gone? If you are married, using trusts to implement tax savings planning will enable you to save taxes in your combined estates.You can also use lifetime planning techniques to leverage value to your family while saving taxes.
- Do you want to ensure that your philanthropy continues in your absence? Again, lifetime and testamentary planning can provide for your charitable goals and save taxes.It is a win-win.
- Do you fear what will happen if you become sick or disabled?A durable power of attorney names someone you trust to handle your financial matters for you, and your health care proxy will name someone whom you know will convey your wishes about your medical treatment.
- Do you worry that your significant other will not be taken care of or recognized when you are not around?Your estate plan can name him or her as a beneficiary, and doing so will make your intentions clear.
- Do you wonder who will be in charge of your assets when you are gone?Your estate plan and incapacity documents enable you to name trusted individuals to make decisions for you when you cannot do so yourself. Our Fiduciary Services group offers you the opportunity to have your estate or trust overseen by your trusted contact at Prince Lobel.
This is just a small list of some of the uncertainties a good estate plan can ameliorate. With your estate plan, you can ensure that what is important to you is carried out. You can provide security for your family members for their future and for their needs. You can create your legacy.