Estate Planning Doesn’t Need to be a Mystery
Estate planning is easy, if you know what to do. That’s the way it is with everything. Lawyers go to school for an extra three years to learn how to speak and write so you can’t understand us. Once you know the language, estate planning isn’t a mystery.
Most people think estate planning involves making a will and setting it in the file cabinet and forgetting about it. Some people get the idea that they are supposed to have a living trust, so they spend the big bucks at the attorney’s office and get a big stack of papers, which they put in the file cabinet and forget about. Estate planning is much more than that. While a will and trust enable you to pass your property at your death, good estate planning will also help you make your life more comfortable. It will protect your assets and it will give you more money to spend.
Estate Planning Begins With a Trust
To begin estate planning, most people should set up a revocable trust. It is called a living trust, loving trust, family trust, and a dozen different other names, but it is always the same trust. Even if you get a living trust, you will always have a testamentary will too.
Most people who get living trusts don’t avoid the probate and get all of the goodies they were promised when they were being “sold” the trust. Setting up a trust requires a shift in your thinking. You need to have the trust documents all signed, sealed and delivered. Then you need to start thinking about transferring assets to the trust, and you need to become comfortable with all the terminology of trusts. You need to start “using” your trust planning. Actually, it’s a big deal. There is a lot at stake.
The opening lines in my book, Protecting Your Financial Future, make you the guarantee that doing your estate planning is worth every effort you make and every dime you spend – just in the peace of mind it will give you. The shift in thinking you have to make will open up a new world to you – a world the rich live in.
After you do your estate planning, you’ll live just like you always have, but something should be different. Your circle of friends may change, or at least the conversations in the circle will change. You will have become a member of an exclusive group of successful people. But, let me say it again, you have to start using your trust. It doesn’t matter whether you get your trust from the expensive high-rise lawyer’s office or not, if you don’t use it you are wasting your money.
Unfortunately, today many trusts are created on the internet in 10 easy minutes. That’s not enough. , but you have to educate yourself about trusts and start doing trust planning. This all has to be done no matter how you get your trust.
You can have an attorney help you when you’re setting up a trust, or you can just use trust forms you get off the internet. However, just having the piece of paper isn’t going to get you too far. You’ve got to use your trust.