The following article will cover:
- Types of Trusts in Estate Planning.
- Advanced Estate Planning Strategies.
- The Necessity and Benefits of Advanced Estate Planning.
What Is Estate Planning? Why Do We Need It?
Estate planning is a crucial process for most individuals, as it involves determining the distribution of one’s assets, such as financial assets or real estate, upon their death. However, with increased life expectancy, the primary goal of estate planning has shifted towards ensuring that your estate lasts the remainder of your life and supports your needs. In order to avoid the time delays and expenses associated with probate, trusts are commonly used as an estate planning tool.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Trusts?
In foundational estate planning, revocable living trusts are typically employed. These trusts can be amended or terminated at will and are established during an individual’s lifetime, hence the name “living” or “inter-vivos” trust.
What Is Advanced Estate Planning?
Advanced estate planning utilizes various forms of trusts, such as irrevocable trusts, to address more complex concerns. Examples include Medicaid qualifying plans or special needs planning for a handicapped child or family member.
What Strategies Are Available If Your Needs Extend Beyond Foundational Estate Planning?
Numerous strategies are available for advanced estate planning; however, it is essential for clients to actively engage with these strategies for them to be effective. An estate plan should be periodically analyzed to ensure it continues to meet the client’s goals and needs. And, if necessary, a basic estate plan can be converted into an advanced plan, but this requires ongoing communication between the client and the attorney.
Who Needs Advanced Estate Planning?
The longer you live, the more likely you will need advanced estate planning. Periodic analysis of your estate plan is crucial to determine if it still meets your goals and needs.
What Strategies Are Available In Advanced Estate Planning?
Advanced estate planning strategies include special needs planning, ensuring beneficiaries on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are protected upon inheritance and do not lose their benefits, and more.
Although estate tax planning has been less necessary in recent years due to the large credit against the federal estate tax, this may change after 2025, making estate tax planning a potential aspect of advanced planning once more.