Estate planning can be stressful, especially if you have a significant number of assets. You might be afraid of overlooking certain pieces of property, which could then fall into the wrong hands upon your passing. But the estate planning process doesn’t have to be as complicated as it may seem. However, in order to be effective, an estate plan needs to be holistic, detailed, and legally valid.
One way to ensure that you don’t fail to address all of your assets is to utilize a pour-over will. This document essentially dumps your assets into an already existing trust upon your passing. Therefore, if you purchase an asset just prior to your passing, or you simply forget to add an asset to your trust, you don’t need to worry about it. The assets will automatically transfer to your trust through the pour-over will.
The type of trust you utilize is up to you and depends on your wants and needs. Many people choose to use a revocable living trust, which allows them to control the trust and its assets up until death. This means that they can place assets inside and outside of the trust at any time. Irrevocable trusts, on the other hand, may provide tax benefits, but they leave you with no control over the assets once they are placed into the trust.
A lot of people fear the estate planning process. Others feel like they are too young to concern themselves with it. The truth of the matter, though, is that estate planning can benefit everyone. The important thing to remember is that the process is entirely customizable, which should put your mind at ease since you can pursue a plan that suits your needs. To ensure that an estate plan is proper and legally valid, it may be wise to work through it with a legal professional who has your best interests at heart.