Estate Planning with Revocable Living Trusts
Estate Planning is a process which requires careful attention to detail and personalized service to each and every client. At Hagan & Associates, we realize that no two people are alike, and each client’s needs will vary according to their own individual circumstances. We are committed to providing high quality estate planning services while at the same time maintaining cost effective representation and personal attention to each of our clients.
With proper estate planning, you can avoid the time and expense associated with probate proceedings. Contrary to popular belief, even a relatively small estate can benefit greatly from the use of a Revocable Living Trust. A Revocable Living Trust avoids all probate court proceedings, greatly reducing probate fees which can consume up to 10% of your estate’s value. Moreover, a Revocable Living Trust, when properly drawn, cannot be contested. This means that your estate will be distributed according to your wishes, giving you maximum control. In addition, your beneficiaries will receive the distributions designated by you much more quickly than they would in a probate proceeding, which can take up to 18 months or longer, depending on the size of your estate and complexity of your will instructions. A Revocable Living Trust can be modified or revoked by you at any time during your lifetime, allowing you complete control over your assets in the event your personal circumstances should change.
A Revocable Living Trust will also contain provisions in the event you become disabled, incompetent or otherwise incapacitated.
Finally, when you entrust your estate planning needs to us, we will contact you annually at no additional charge to make sure your estate plan is up to date and that your needs have not changed.
Should you choose not to utilize a Revocable Living Trust and your estate must go through probate after your passing, Hagan & Associates can also assist in that process. However, we strongly encourage you to come in and see how simple it is to prepare a thorough estate plan that will provide you with great peace of mind.
Whether your estate planning needs are simple or complex, your file will receive individualized attention from licensed attorneys and their professional staff. It is of the utmost importance to us that your needs are fulfilled to your complete satisfaction, at very competitive pricing.
When you decide to entrust your estate planning to Hagan & Associates, we will prepare and estate planning package designed just for you. This package will generally include:
- Revocable Living Trust. This document is similar to a will, except that it allows the person(s) you designate as successor trustee( s) to distribute your estate to your beneficiaries without the time and expense of probate court intervention.
- Pour Over Will. This document will transfer any assets that you may inadvertently omit from the Revocable Living Trust, revokes any prior existing wills, and names guardians of any minor children you may have.
- Durable Power of Attorney for Property. This document authorizes a person appointed by you to manage any property you may inadvertently omit from the Revocable Living Trust in the event you become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions on your own.
- Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. This document authorizes a person appointed by you to make decisions about your health care in the event you become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions on your own.
- Living Will. This document authorizes the termination of artificial life support in the event you are stricken with a terminal illness.
- Instructions for Transfer of Title. This document can be presented to your bank, mortgage company, and other important entities, and contains instructions for them to transfer title to your assets to your Revocable Living Trust.
- Successor Trustee’s Checklist. This document outlines what steps’ your successor trustee should take upon your death or incapacity, greatly reducing the chance of confusion or misunderstanding during a troubling time.
- Asset List. This list will inform your successor trustee where all assets and necessary documents are located.
All of these documents will be provided to you in a secure binder, ensuring that nothing gets misplaced. This will allow your successor trustee(s) to locate all of the necessary information and easy to follow instructions with minimal time and effort. In addition, we will prepare all necessary deeds for transfer of real property into your Revocable Living Trust at a minimal additional expense and have those documents recorded with the appropriate governing agency.