How to Ensure Your Assets Are Distributed to Your Heirs

How to Ensure Your Assets Are Distributed to Your Heirs

Many people have ideas and thoughts about who will get what after they die. However, up to 60 percent of Americans do not plan much more than thinking about what they want. Unfortunately, for those heirs who were not left any will or trust to act as an estate planning tool that designates assets, it will be up to a judge to make this decision based upon the laws of the state. 

Also known as “intestate succession,” when there is no will or trust of any kind, the entire estate will be required to go through the probate process. Similar to a will, the probate process will be overseen by a judge who will distribute assets according to the state laws. If this is not something you want to happen, it is essential that you plan ahead. To learn more now, call an estate planning lawyer, like an estate planning lawyer in Sacramento, CA

The Probate Process Can Be Avoided

If you know you want to avoid probate, then it is recommended to consider drafting a legally-binding trust. When properly executed, a trust can save your heirs from having to go through an expensive and timely probate process. There are several types of trusts, including asset protection trusts, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, special needs trusts, gun trusts, and more. Every trust has a purpose; the most common trust includes:

Revocable Living Trust
This is the most common trust and is very suitable for married and unmarried couples, as well as individuals. This trust can be structured in a broad number of ways and offers ample flexibility to the person who creates it (i.e. the settlor, grantor, or trustor). When a grantor creates this type of trust, and it is executed, the grantor retitles their assets into the name of the trust (the control of the assets are not lost). Detailed instructions are included so it is known how the assets should be managed, used, or distributed upon their death. While alive, the grantor is usually the trustee, but it could also be an estate planning lawyer.

Similar to a will, a trust should have a named successor trustee who will be responsible for managing the estate after the death of the grantor. Unlike a will, a trust does not have to go through the probate process. It is also kept private. Because the trust is like an entity that holds assets, estate taxes are much less than what would need to be paid if only a will existed. 

It is often thought that a trust is only for wealthy people. Truth be told, a trust can be beneficial to those who have large, valuable estates. However, it can be equally beneficial for anyone who would like to avoid the probate process and ensure their intentions are fulfilled correctly. 

An Estate Planning Lawyer You Can Rely On

If you would like to know more about creating a trust or what type of estate planning tool may be best suited to your needs, please call a leading estate planning lawyer today. 
Thanks to Yee Law Group, PC for their insight into how to ensure that your assets are distributed to your heirs.