What To Do Before We’re Gone

Before we go on trips, we take the time to plan. We find someone to watch our pets, and we have packing lists. If something gets forgotten, there’s usually a way to replace it when we get to where we are going. However, what happens when we die? What sort of preparation did we do? This is precisely why estate planning exists. It answers what will happen to my assets when I pass away. There are things we can do that will make the transition easier for those we leave behind. This blog centers around specific things you can do to make that happen. 

#1: Put Your Wishes in Writing

There are a couple of documents you can choose from to accomplish this. When people first hear that they should put their wishes in writing, they typically think of a will. This is probably one of the least essential documents you can have, despite how many people are familiar with a will. We’re not saying a will isn’t needed, but it is one of the least important things. This document will not truly answer the question of what happens to someone’s assets when they pass away. 

After reading that, people’s next question is what they should do. You need to put your wishes in writing and then title your assets in accordance with that document. With that in mind, it is safe to say that a will doesn’t fully prepare you because a will is missing title. For example, you cannot title your home in the name of a will. With a will, there will be extra steps that your family has to take to accomplish the goal of getting title to your assets over to your surviving loved ones. The absence of title equates to the presence of probate

#2: Choose a Revocable Trust 

A revocable trust is a legal document that contains your wishes about what you want to happen when you pass away. You have the option of being very specific or very general. The fundamental advantage is that you can title your assets in the name of a trust because the trust becomes effective while you are still alive. In contrast, a will is not effective until you pass away, which is why you cannot title your assets in the name of a will. 

When you title your assets per your wishes, you eliminate the need for probate. We live in a world full of “what ifs.”

  • What if my spouse survives me?
  • What if my spouse is sick and is in a nursing home?
  • What if all my children survive me, but one is going through a divorce?
  • What if one of my children died before me, and they have children?
  • What if one of those children has special needs?

All of these can be taken into account in your trust. Everything will be carried out as you intended without the extra step of probate. If you want things to remain simple, the first step is to ensure that the government and the court stay out of this. 

Get in Touch with J. Kevin Tharpe, P.C.

Most people want their lives to remain private, and having a will is anything but. Many people don’t want their personal details, assets, and the names and addresses of their surviving family members published or made public. Having this trust keeps your life private, and more importantly, you will be prepared. Your family will also be prepared, and you will make things easier for them when you are gone. Your beneficiaries will be protected too. Put your wishes in writing and coordinate the titles of your assets accordingly, and you will be prepared. Contact our office today to continue this conversation with legal counsel and schedule your consultation

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Kevin Tharpe

With 25 years of experience, Kevin understands how estate planning, special needs planning, and government benefits programs work together. This is a crucial element of a thorough plan. He explains your eligibility for benefits programs and ensures that you do not make costly mistakes that may disqualify you or deplete your assets.

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