Wills and Trusts: Wills
Your will can do more than simply relay instructions on how to distribute your property after death. You can name relatives, friends, charities, or any other recipient you wish. You can also relay other instructions, such as specifying an executor for your estate or a legal guardian for your children. It is important to ensure that the named guardian has accepted this role, because they are allowed to refuse. The executor is responsible for administering your estate and making sure that your instructions are followed. They EXECUTE the will. The executor also represents your Given these responsibilities and the large amount of time they require, you should give careful thought to your choice of executor. Naming all your children as co executors is not showing them that you love them all equally, it is telling them you don't trust any of them. Pick a batting order , starting with the even tempered and organized one first, regardless of age.
Wills and Trusts: Trusts
A trust is a legal entity which transfers property or assets to a manager or "trustee". The person who creates the trust, or "trustor", determines how the trust's proceeds should be distributed and the trustee manages the property for the beneficiary. Trusts are often used when you don't trust someone with your money after you are gone.
The major types of trust are:
- Living Trusts. A trust established during the life of the trustor. It can provide significant tax benefits, and can allow the trustor to avoid estate taxes. A revocable living trust can be changed or ended by the trustor, while an irrevocable trust cannot be ended by the trustor without court action.
- Testamentary Trusts. Testamentary trusts take effect upon the death of the trustor, who can make changes to its details at any time before death. A testamentary trust therefore allows the trustor to maintain close control over their property. They are built into the wills.
There are many other types of trusts, tailored to specific laws and individual situations. A trust can be an important part of your estate planning, but the complex nature of these legal entities and the variation between them means that you should consult an attorney before establishing a trust of any kind, not just a financial advisor.
If you would like to schedule a initial consultation contact an Iowa estate planning attorney, representing clients in West Union, Iowa at the Dillon Law P.C. Give us a call at (563) 578-1850 or complete our inquiry form.