Life takes planning. It’s important to have a vision of where you are going and make a plan of how you are going to get there. This usually entails little steps, daily, weekly, monthly, and sometimes yearly. In the end, you accomplish what you set out to do. This is how success happens in life — it is planned; it’s not instantaneous.

The same can be said for planning for after you are gone. You need a plan so that when you are gone, chaos doesn’t ensue and become a free-for-all amongst your relatives. While this does happen (more often than it should), it’s definitely not preferable. However, with a well-laid-out estate plan, you can avoid a bedlam and ensure your plans are carried out after your death.

The top-notch estate planning lawyers at The Law Offices of Diron Rutty are experts at helping you with an estate plan that meets your needs. From wills and trusts to helping you choose your beneficiaries for your 401k, our team can help. Below, we’ll cover three more elements of a good estate plan. Be sure to read our previous blog to explore the first three essential estate plan tips. Contact us today for a consultation!

Designating Beneficiaries

Certain financial instruments are not subject to probate because they carry beneficiary designations, which is effectively telling everyone who that particular asset goes to. It’s always a good idea to designate beneficiaries wherever you can because not only will having a beneficiary exempt these assets from probate, but also this means that there will be no delay in obtaining your funds. 

Also, if you are able to designate a contingent beneficiary, the estate planning lawyers at The Law Offices of Diron Rutty recommend that you do so. This is because many people forget to update their beneficiary accounts when something happens to the primary beneficiary. This would automatically send that asset to probate if there are no beneficiaries and if it’s not mentioned in the will. Remember, when an asset goes to probate, a judge will be in charge of who gets what, and he or she will have no knowledge of you as a person or what you would most likely want to see happen. Furthermore, your beneficiaries should be over the age of 21 and mentally competent.

 A Letter of Intent

A letter of intent (LOI) can be thought of like an informal will. It is essentially a letter stating your wishes that can be added to your estate plan. Often, these are funeral wishes or last-minute additions to wills that you didn’t have time to make before your death. It’s important to remember that these letters are not official documents, but they are considered by judges in probate court and can help with the distribution of your assets.

Trusts

Trusts are legal arrangements that allow you to set aside money for beneficiaries, and you can control these monies. These are usually set up for kids who might be too young to handle money when you do pass. You can also say how you want your children to use the money, say, for example, for college expenses. This allows you to dictate what you want the assets to be used for even after you are gone. Trusts are often set up because you don’t trust the beneficiaries to do with the money what you want to be done, but you still want them to have the money.

That being said, there are many different types of trusts, all with different purposes and different characteristics. For example, revocable trusts can help you avoid probate, and irrevocable trusts can help you limit estate taxes. Trusts must be set up by your estate planning attorney since there are many legalities involved.

CHOOSE THE ESTATE LAW TEAM AT THE LAW OFFICES OF DIRON RUTTY FOR ALL YOUR ESTATE LAW NEEDS

There is definitely a lot more that goes into estate planning than most people think. TV makes it appear easy, with just a will being read out loud to your relatives and all is said and done. This is far from the case.

The estate law team at The Law Offices of Diron Rutty has decades of helping you formulate a good estate plan that will work for you. We’ll sit down with you and discover all of your needs, wants, and desires. Then we’ll go over all of your options, such as a type of trust we think would be beneficial or a healthcare power of attorney. You need a comprehensive estate plan that leaves nothing forgotten, and our estate planning lawyers are up for the task. With decades of experience and a wide breadth of knowledge, you’ll be taken care of. Contact us today for a consultation at our Bronx office today.