I am an Estate Planning attorney. Therefore, my standard answer is that it is never too early to plan. The three most influential and prominent cases that are related to healthcare involve persons under 45 years old and one of these cases includes Terri Schiavo. Most of us (that are old enough) remember her name, but here are some facts you may not know. She died after her feeding tube was removed and was 41 years old. She unfortunately suffered a heart attack at 26 years old and was on the feeding tube for 15 years. Still think it’s too early to plan?
Aside from an Advance Healthcare Directive, a Trust is an important document to have in your estate plan for a number of reasons. A Revocable Living Trust is like a bucket that you (the Trustor) creates during life (the legal word is Intervivos), and as the creator of the Trust you are free to put items into, and take items out of the Living Trust. So you can see that creating a Revocable Trust does not mean that you will lose control of your property. Actually quite the opposite. A Trust can help you should you ever become incapacitated from a coma, Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. You can designate who holds your bucket should you ever lose capacity and this person is called your successor trustee. There are many other great reasons to create an Estate Plan, and you can read about them in my various Blog posts here: http://www.myestate-plan.com/blog
I think some great triggers to creating an Estate Plan other than those mentioned above are when one buys a home, townhome, condo or the like. Another great reason to create an Estate Plan is when one gets married or has a child. Even if you don’t own a home or think you don’t have sufficient assets to create a Trust, this is an important time to make sure your spouse and child are taken care of. Life insurance can be utilized to fund a Trust and take care of your loved ones should something happen to you. If a bread winner is lost, income must be replaced, short and long terms bills must be payed, and college and other expenses should be contemplated. Using life insurance to fund a Trust can be a very affordable solution, especially for young persons or young couples. For reasons why gifts should be given in Trust instead of just naming a beneficiary and giving the gift outright, please see my blog on Outright Gifts versus gifts Given in Trust.
Please see my Blog for more discussion of various aspects of Estate Planning.
Please feel free to give me a call and we can establish your Revocable Living Trust, your Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT), or other Estate Planning goals today. If you have specific estate planning objectives, I can help create solutions.
See lots of estate planning information on my website at: www.myestate-plan.com
Thanks for reading my blog.
William Daniel Powell
This document is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this is to be considered legal advice. Nothing in this shall create an attorney/client relationship, nor shall it create a confidential relationship. If you need legal advice (in California), feel free to contact me or someone licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. I assume no liability or responsibility for actions taken, or not taken, as a result of reading this information.
Also, please remember that I speak in generalities in my blog and my website. There are so many different factors that can contribute and completely change the outcome that it would be impractical to discuss all of them here.