Planning for the Future

You should prepare a will in conjunction with a living trust, a pourover will, a power of attorney to manage assets, a medical power of attorney to manage health care, an advance directive to physicians (also known as a living will), and a HIPAA release to authorize disclosure of medical information. The living trust avoids a probate estae and also has tax provisions in the event your estate has tax consequences at death. The trust would have provisions for the surviving spouse and would have provisions if no spouse survives for distribution to the adult children and/or grandchildren. Empty nester estate planning becomes more complicated because the children’s lifestyles have been established, and special planning may be necessary in light of the adult child’s capabilities. In some instances, an adult child may be disabled and/or become disabled. In this event, special trust provisions must be created to avoid interfering with governmental benefits. In some cases, the adult child is competent, but may not be one with a great deal of financial responsibility. This may lead the parent to consider an ongoing trust for protection of the corpus from bad decisions of the child, such as spendthrift trust provisions. These matters are thoroughly discussed in estate planning and are tailored to specific client circumstances.

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