Our job as Estate Attorneys is to ensure you and your family have peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out upon your passing and that your estate plan has been tailored to meet needs of your family after you are gone.
Why You Want To Have a Will
Wills are essential for anyone who wants to have a true estate plan. Without a Will, you are leaving the distribution of your estate up to the laws of the State in which you reside or the State in which your real property is located.
The Probate Court will appoint the individual responsible for administering your estate, your Personal Representative, without any input from you as to who you would wish to act in this manner. The Probate Court even has the authority to appoint one of your creditors as your estate’s Personal Representative.
Make Your Wishes Known
By not creating a Will you will have miss your opportunity to nominate guardians for minor children, designate distributions to specific individuals or charities, and make important tax elections that could save your inheritors from significant estate taxes in the future.
The Importance of an Up-to-Date Will
Even if you have a Will, you should always keep it up to date. Here are just some of the most important reasons to update your Will:
- The birth of a child
- Receiving an inheritance
- Being diagnosed with an illness
- Death of a named individual in your will
- Moving out of state
- Selling or buying assets (real estate or otherwise)
Trusts for Estate Planning, Not Just for The Rich
Don’t be fooled into thinking that Trusts are only for the mega-wealthy. Trusts are one of, if not the, best tools an estate plan can have for handling probate, incapacity, asset protection, taxes, and wealth preservation. Trusts are for anyone who wants a private well thought out plan for what should happen to their assets and their family after they pass away or if they are incapacitated.
Types of Trusts
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Testamentary Trusts
- Irrevocable Trusts
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
- Asset Protection Trusts
- Pet Trusts
- Special Needs Trusts
- Generation Skipping Trusts
- Spendthrift Trusts
- Trouble Child Trusts
- Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts
- Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts
- Charitable Remainder Trusts
- Charitable Lead Trusts
- Charitable Private Foundation Trusts
Benefits of Hiring a Professional Trustee
An important part of trust planning is choosing the right Trustee. Your trustee is the individual or corporate fiduciary you choose to oversee the Trust and all the assets it holds. A trustee takes on many responsibilities such as managing assets and property, investing, handling tax matters, and ensuring assets are distributed or conserved according to the instructions you have left them.
A Trustee can be charged with making sure your loved ones are properly cared for and provided for whether they be a surviving spouse, minor children, someone with special needs, or even an adored pet.
Here at the Rutledge Law Firm, we specialize in serving as professional Trustees for our clients and have over 40 such trusts under our care.
Need Help With Your Estate Planning?
If you are interested in having a thorough and well thought out plan for you and your family, please call our office at (843) 225-1599 to set up a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
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