COVID-19 cases are spiking across the nation for the third time this year. Cases continue to grow and state are struggling to provide care. Unfortunately, the spread this time is from coast to coast and far worse than the spikes experienced in the Spring and Summer. Close to 250,000 Americans have lost their lives to this deadly virus with that number expected to exceed 300,000 before all is said and done. The unprecedented loss of life is expected to exceed that of all the wars fought by this nation combined. Unfortunately, the worse is yet to come.
Exciting news from pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Moderna about the development of vaccines that could start arriving as soon as December has provided a glimmer of hope for the nation. This exciting news is tempered, however, by forecast that the vaccine will not be available to the vast majority of Americans until the late Spring, early Summer barring any delay in the distribution. Some states have starting to institute restrictions in an effort to avoid shutdowns that have devastating economic and social effects.
Estate Planning Check-up
Now more than ever is the time to start or revisit your estate planning needs. Estate Planning is more than just a Will or Trust. Estate Planning is a comprehensive plan that evaluates all aspects of your Estate, Tax, Life Insurance, and succession planning needs. Failing to plan in one area can have dire consequences in others. An Estate plan is not for the living, it’s for the ones we leave behind.
Life can and often does change in the blink of an eye. Whether you’re planning a wedding of starting your family it’s essential that your Estate Plan change with your life. So, if you’ve recently married, divorced, started a new business, or purchased your dream home; reviewing your Estate Plan today can save your loved one’s time and money tomorrow.
Deciding whether to draft a Trust or a Will is an individual decision and should be made on a case by case basis with an Estate Planning expert. Here are some facts about both Trust and Wills that may help make your decision a bit easier.
Compare and Contrast
Yes, most of my clients with larger estates select a Trust over a Will as part of a complete estate plan. Wills, however, can be an excellent fit for the right client. Some of the reasons include:
Trusts bypass probate. Probating an estate is not as expensive as some people make it out to be. The overall cost varies greatly depending on the jurisdiction, size, claims, and whether challenges are made. Drafting a Trust allows you to select successor trustees, either individuals or corporate to carry out the terms of your Trust.
Trusts are not public. Probate is a public process.
Wills are used to devise an estate.
Trusts also devise an estate; however, Trusts provide the Grantor greater flexibility and control. Trust give the Grantor has the ability to “pull strings” from the grave. This means the Grantor may set terms as to how assets are devised to their beneficiaries. For example, the Grantor may state that 50% of a beneficiary’s inheritance is payable immediately and the remaining 50% is payable after she graduates from college.
Trust are used for Estate tax planning for larger estates.
Size matters – for individuals with smaller estates a simple Will may do the trick. Establishing Transfer of Death Agreements for bank and brokerage accounts allow assets to transfer by operation of law to beneficiaries thus bypassing the probate process.
Cost – the cost of drafting a Trust can be more than twice that of drafting a Will. Though drafting a Trust is more expensive upfront, the added cost of probating a Will could significantly reduce the cost difference.
What COVID -19 has Taught Us About Estate Planning? As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to sweep its way across the United States, the fact that over 50% of all Americans do not have an estate plan has struck a resounding alarm. Most people recognize the importance of planning their estate. Most people also believe that they have plenty of time and that estate planning is something that they should do much later in life. The fact is that estate planning is relevant at all stages of adult life, regardless of age.
An estate plan is not just for the living; an estate plan is mainly for the loved ones we leave behind. Dying without a Will or Trust means that you have left important decisions for the court to decide which may be contrary to your wishes. Who will care for your children? Where will they live? How will their college needs be met? These are all questions that a complete estate and financial plan can help address.
Tomorrow is not promised to any of us. An estate plan can range from simple to quite complex depending on your particular circumstances. The average estate plan can cost from $500 – $2,000 and can be completed in as little as a week. A comprehensive Estate Plan will include a Trust, Will, Powers of Attorney for health and finances, HIPPA agreement and more. All plans are tailored to your specific needs. Life can change in just the blink of an eye. Don’t leave your loved ones unprotected. So, What COVID -19 has Taught Us About Estate Planning? Take care of the ones you love the most. Call Today to schedule your free no obligation consultation.
The amount of planning required will vary from client to client. The objective of any Estate Plan is to transfer wealth to the next generation in the most tax efficient way possible.
At Cain Taylor Coleman Morson and Associates we specialize in Estate Plans and Wealth Transfer Plans that are customized to meet the needs of each client. This means our plans are designed specifically for you and the needs of your family.
Take care of the ones you love the most. Call Today for your free no obligation consultation.