If you want your estate going to family members, you certainly don’t want it going to distant relatives or the government. Estate planning is an essential part of retirement planning. Too many times surviving family members undergo unnecessary stress, simply because the deceased member didn’t take the time to arrange his or her estate. You can accomplish this without giving up any control of your funds.

  • A Will Verses A Trust

How do you know when you need a Trust instead of a Will? Here is a quick reference to help you make that choice.

(NOTE: Always consult an attorney before making any changes to legal documents).

FACTORS TO CONSIDERUSE A WILLUSE A TRUST
AgeYoung/Under 40Older/Over 55
Concern about incapacityGood HealthPoor Health
Family situationSimpleComplex
Desire for privacyLowHigh
Size of EstateSmallTaxable or nearly so
Out-of-state propertyNoneAny
Current statusUp-to-Date WillSimple Will or none
Desire to protect familyNone neededStrong Desire
Likelihood of ContestLittle or noneSome chance

In his book, A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to Work…I Retired, Steve says a will does not avoid probate court. On the contrary. “Having a Will is an engraved invitation to the probate party.” If you said yes to any of the situations in the Trust column, it is time to consult an expert about your estate.

Regardless of the size of your estate, there is a trust available to meet your estate planning needs. In addition to the standard Living Trust, there are Credit Shelter Trusts, Charitable Remainder Trusts, various Irrevocable Trusts, and more. Our team is ready to assist you in planning your wealth transfer.