Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why Living Trusts Fail: Failure to Title

Failure to Title: Why Many Living Trusts Fail

A revocable living trust has many purposes. One of the popular reasons they are created is to avoid probate proceedings at the death of the trust creator. However, this purpose fails if proper titling and beneficiary designations are not created.

In past articles here on my blog and my law firm's blog I have discussed the importance of asset titling and beneficiary designations. The simple rule of thumb is this: if you fail to title, your trust will fail to launch.

As an estate planning attorney, nothing is more frustrating than watching perfectly well drafted trusts fail due to the failure to title assets properly. The titling process is as important in creating an estate plan as the plan documents themselves.

In the article below, this issue is again discussed. I encourage anyone considering estate planning or who already has a plan to review this article.

Let me know if you have titling questions or any other questions about estate planning. Thank you.

Bernie Greenberg

Friday, November 2, 2012

4 Reasons Estate Planning is the Best Gift of All

4 Reasons Estate Planning is the Best Gift of All

It's true! Estate planning really is the best gift and here I'll discuss four reasons why. Now I know what you may be thinking, "here he is again, that estate planning attorney from Castle Rock, telling me about the benefits of estate planning"! And you know, you're right, but not for the reasons you think. You see, estate planning is not only beneficial, but is a gift to your family that is so significant, that all other gifts combined pale in comparison. Let's see why.

Four reasons that estate planning is the best gift of all:

1. Estate planning never stops giving.

One feature of an estate plan is that it never stops giving--it never stops protecting you, your family and your loved ones along with your assets and property. While you want to keep your plan current and update it due to changing family circumstances or needs, it is always there. More on that part below.

2. Your estate plan is the best way to protect yourself.

As I have discussed in prior articles, one important purpose of your estate plan is to protect you in the event of unplanned illness, disability or death. Since your estate plan protects you against these risks, it makes your estate plan one of the best, if not the best way to protect yourself. This is done with Powers of Attorney and medical directives and Living Wills.

3. Your estate plan is the best way to protect your family.

Our families rely on us for all sorts of things. In fact, for many families, it is not possible to even list all of the things that we are relied on to provide. Financial support, emotional support and others are the just the beginning of the ways you support your family. When you create your estate plan, you can provide this support to your family when they most need it---when you are not available! Nothing else can provide this protection to your family.

Your estate plan does this with Wills, Trusts and other estate planning arrangements.

4. Your estate plan allows you to control the future.

Yes, it's true, your estate plan can control the future. The truth is, the future is uncertain and no one can know what it will bring. What your estate plan can do is allow you to control the outcome of events in the future that are difficult to predict or project. For example, we don't know if an unplanned near-term disability is in our future. But if it does happen, your estate plan can control how you are treated and cared for. Your estate plan is the only way that the outcomes of an uncertain future can be controlled.

No other gift provides these four benefits which is why I am suggesting that estate planning is the best gift of all.

What do you think? Please join our conversation and share your thoughts on this topic. Thank you.

Bernie Greenberg