Estate Planning and Wills

A living will is an extremely useful document that outlines your wishes for medical treatment in the event you become incapacitated or diagnosed with a terminal illness. The main difference between a will and living will is when they each go into effect. A will only goes into effect after death while a living will goes into effect once a person becomes incapacitated before death.

Once you have created a living will, you can revoke it in a number of ways:

First and foremost, the purpose for a will is to specify how you wish your estate to be distributed. For any property which you own, you can specify in your will who that property will be distributed to upon your death.

Generally, one of the most important parts of the trust provisions are the distribution provisions, that is, who gets what, and when. All types of distributions are possible, but it is important to make a crucial distinction here between a will and a trust.

Having a valid will, but not engaging in proper estate planning, usually ends up costing your estate several years in probate court and several thousands of dollars in expenses and fees. Certainly, this is bad enough.

What Happens if I have a Trust? If the trust is properly created and your property is properly transferred into the trust, the trust will continue after your death until such time as the trust terminates. This is usually provided for in the trust, and in very general terms, the trust usually specifies for its termination after the property in the trust is fully distributed.

Generally, you can provide specific instructions on how you wish your property to be divided. One of the main rules however, is that you must own the asset in order to exert complete control over its distribution.

Many states recognize that their residents can make valid Living Wills. However, understand that Living Wills that are valid in your state may not be valid in every state. You should always consult an attorney to prepare documents that will be valid in your state. Contact member services to be connected to a local attorney to help you.

Legally, a trust can be defined as a legal instrument that creates an entity, whose identity is legally separate from that of the creator. Usually a party who creates a trust, the Trustor, transfers title to some or all of his/her property, in trust, to another person, the Trustee, to be held for the benefit of either the Trustor or one or more third parties, known as beneficiaries.

Quite simply, medical treatment decisions are not always easy. Such decisions almost always involve different amounts of information or knowledge, and often involve weighing the important facts of different sides of an issue. While creating a living will documents your wishes, you must also consider the person acting on your behalf.


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