A Living or Inter Vivos Trust is an instrument which allows individuals to avoid the cost and expense of probate and considered living documents that can be altered during your life time. Once you die, however, the trust becomes “irrevocable” requiring your successor trustees and beneficiaries to follow your desires. Trusts are also private documents, meaning you do not need the court or attorneys to administer.
A Will is meant for individuals to designate beneficiaries and administers, which allows you to avoid default laws termed Intestacy. We will draft your Will to include your personal assets, which will then flow into the Trust in the case of your death. The Trust will also specify where your dependent children will go if you were to pass away. These decisions are far too important to hand over to the courts system.
A living will is an important health directive. The document identifies to the world your desires in case of a life or death situation where artificial life support is needed. Without a Living Will your friends and relatives may fight amongst themselves as to whether or not to terminate your life support. A living will becomes effective only when you cannot communicate your desires on your own.
As we age, a good portion of our country is diagnosed with illnesses which may eventually rob them of their capacity to care for themselves. Because the Trust only comes into play when a person dies, individuals may need a temporary guardian who can access their medical and financial records for the duration of their lives. The Power of Attorney will assist individuals in filing taxes, access medical records, sell jointly owned property, and obtain government assistance.