Everyone has heard of the simple will that can be used to state your final wishes. However, this is not the only type of will that is utilized in the field of estate planning. In this post, we will look at some other wills that fly under the radar.
A living will does not have anything to do with monetary asset transfers. This type of will is an advance directive for health care, and it should be included in every estate plan. You state your preferences regarding the use of life support measures in this document.
It can also include your organ and tissue donation and comfort care medication designations. With regard to advance directives, you should also have a durable power of attorney for health care.
This will empower a person of your choosing to make medical decisions on your behalf that are not related to life-support utilization. To give your agent the freedom to access your medical records, you should include a HIPAA release.
When you discuss your options with an estate planning lawyer, you may decide to use a living trust as the centerpiece of your estate plan instead of a simple will. There are many benefits, and probate avoidance is one of them.
This is a costly and time-consuming process that would be necessary if you use a will to facilitate asset transfers. When a living trust is used, the trustee that you name in the document will distribute assets to the beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes outside of probate.
Even if you have a living trust, you may fail to convey some property that you own into it for one reason or another. To account for this possibility, your plan should include a pour-over will. It will direct the property into the trust. The court will be involved, but it is a simple and straightforward process.
Will With a Testamentary Trust
Estate planning is important for all responsible adults, but it is essential for the parents of minor children. If you have a will as a parent, you have to consider the fact that children cannot handle their own monetary resources. As a protection, you include a testamentary trust.
This is a trust that is held within a will, and it would be created after your death. A trustee that is named would administer the trust on behalf of the minor children if it becomes necessary.
A joint will is pretty much self-explanatory. In some cases, spouses will execute a joint will leaving everything to one another. This is a completely inflexible arrangement, because the surviving spouse cannot make any changes. There are options that provide more latitude.
An ethical will is not legally binding, and these documents have been created since biblical times. Traditionally, the ethical will was used to share moral and spiritual values with loved ones. Now, these documents are authored to express any type of information that may be meaningful to the testator.
In closing, we will include the holographic will, even though it is essentially a simple will. The difference is the way that the document is created. This is a handwritten will, and they are recognized in approximately half of the states in the union, including California.
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As you can see, a lot of different documents can be used when you are planning your estate, and we did not look at trusts in this post. A layperson is simply not going to be aware of all the options that are available, and this is understandable.
When you work with our firm, we will gain an understanding of your situation and make recommendations based on the circumstances. At the end of the process, you will emerge with a custom crafted plan that ideally suits your needs.
If you are ready to get started, you can send us a message to request a consultation at our Burbank, CA estate planning office, and we can be reached by phone at 818-937-2335.