living trust

Why Is A Living Trust An Important Part Of Your Financial Planning?

After you pass away, you may still want to have some level of control over your finances so that you know that your family is protected as well as financially stable. A leading estate planning document for accomplishing this goal is a living trust. There are many different benefits of using a living trust, but the first is that it allows a great deal of flexibility and control. living trust

In a revocable living trust, you can also appoint yourself as the primary trustee while you’re still alive. This means you can make changes to or revoke the trust entirely, a level of flexibility that is not afforded with an irrevocable living trust. A revocable living trust also allows you to appoint someone else after you have passed away to handle the responsibility of administering these assets. Some of the other benefits of using a living trust include:

  • Appointing someone responsible to manage your property, assets and money.
  • Avoiding the probate process and keeping these matters private.
  • Allowing this property to transfer more quickly so that your family has the ability to pay for critical expenses, like outstanding debts, mortgage payments and medical expenses.

You always want to know when selecting any estate planning tool that it’s the right one for your needs.

For more information about how to use a living trust and how to get started with creating one today, contact an estate planning lawyer for more details. Our NH and Maine estate planners can walk you through what to know when thinking about using a living trust.

 

 

estate, financial

How To Gather Key Information Before Creating Your Financial and Estate Plan

Whether this is the first time you’re meeting with an estate planning attorney or you’re setting up your first consultation with a financial planner, there are several important planning steps you can take in advance to make this easier. Having documents and a clear understanding of your current financial picture makes it simpler to tell the story of where you’re at and where you hope to go.estate, financial

Any questionnaires that have been provided to you by your estate planning lawyer or financial adviser in advance can give you a good overview of the kinds of things they will ask and the issues most important during this meeting. Some of the most important documents you can gather prior to attending your first meeting with a NH or Maine estate planning lawyer include:

  • Information on your employee benefits
  • Any existing estate planning documents
  • Any existing insurance policies
  • General details about your expenses and income
  • Statements for savings and investment accounts
  • Social Security benefits or pension if you are in retirement or near it
  • Debt statements, such as your mortgage

You can combine this with your personal goals to create a comprehensive estate plan in line with your individual needs. A consultation with a dedicated lawyer can give you a good overview of what you’ve completed already and can help you to craft remaining documents and strategies to align with your personal goals. There is so much to consider in the big picture of estate planning that it is recommended that you start well in advance and get the help of a lawyer.

 

What Do Opportunity Costs Have to Do with Your Financial Plan?

Every time you make a decision in life, you’re choosing to say “yes” to one thing and “no” to all the other options available to you. That’s known as opportunity cost. There’s an opportunity cost with how you structure your financial and estate plan, too! With limited resources, you have to make judgment calls about what you do and who gets what.

A comprehensive financial and estate plan includes many different components, including cash flow management, insurance, long term care considerations, retirement and investments. Unfortunately, there are many different concepts in this process that can get overlooked.

Recognizing the value of opportunity costs and understanding how these factor into making your various decisions is extremely important. Every dollar that is not being effectively used in your individual financial plan could have been used in another way to advance progress in that respect. For example, a dollar that is not being put to effective use could have assisted with debt reduction.

These lost opportunities represent the opportunity cost of failing to maximize the impact of each individual component of your estate plan. There are areas within your estate and financial life that could be showing inefficiencies and this opportunity cost could end up making things more difficult for you in the future or for the beneficiaries that you wish to pass on your assets to. 

Scheduling a consultation with a trusted estate planning lawyer is often the first step in recognizing these opportunity costs and doing everything possible to redirect funds to the right place. For more information about aligning this with your individual estate plan, set up a time today to speak with a trusted attorney.