A lot of people oversimplify the estate planning process, meaning that they think that it entails nothing more than figuring out how their assets will be divided when they pass away. While that’s certainly a large portion of the process, there’s much more to it than that. In fact, one of the benefits of estate planning is that it is a customizable process that can be tailored to suit your needs. So, if you find yourself in any of the following situations, then you might want to consider more in-depth estate planning.
If you’re in a blended family, you need to ensure that your estate plan suits your needs. Without a proper estate plan, your children form another relationship may be left without the resources that you intended them to inherit. This is because without an estate plan, your spouse will inherit the bulk of your estate through intestate succession laws.
Your spouse has no obligation to leave assets to your children from another marriage, and could cut them out of the inheritance that you may have hoped for them. In this situation, a remainder trust that directs remaining assets to your other children after your spouse’s passing may be your best bet.
Families with special needs children
If you have a special needs child, then you’ll want to make sure that he or she is taken care of in the long-term. After all, your child may struggle to obtain and maintain employment that renders him or her able to pay for needed care, which can leave your child in a major financial predicament. Fortunately, you can utilize a special needs trust to ensure that your child continues to receive support from government programs like Medicaid while still having other forms of support. This trust can help pay for things like housing, a vehicle, furniture, and other necessities.
Families with poor money management skills
If you’re worried about how your assets will be handled when you’re gone and are concerned that they will be squandered away, then you may want to consider using incentive and spendthrift trusts. These estate planning vehicles can motivate your loved ones to achieve certain goals, like graduating college or holding a job for a specified period of time, before assets are released. They may also cap the amount of assets that are paid out over a given period of time. This can help ensure the longevity of your estate’s assets while still providing meaningful support to your loved ones.
Families with aging parents
If you’re parents are getting older, then you and your parents both need an estate plan. Your plan may have provisions that seek to provide additional support to your parents, while your parents’ estate plan may need to speak to things like their potential need for long-term care. Don’t be afraid to discuss these matters with your parents. After all, the stakes for everyone involved can be quite high.
Obtain the custom-tailored plan that you need
A lot of people are stressed by the idea of estate planning. After all, there’s a lot of discomfort when it comes to thinking about your own mortality. But you can obtain a sense of relief by thinking through your estate and what you want for the future. If you’re unsure of your options or how best to approach your estate plan, don’t worry. Law firms like ours are here to help you every step of the way.