Your Estate Planning
Part 3 of 3-Part Series
Another aspect which you may want to consider is setting up a trust. A trust is a legal entity that holds your assets for your beneficiary and disperses them according to your instructions. A trustee is named who will be in charge of the distribution as per your wishes. A trust can be simple or complicated in instructions. Perhaps you are worried about your beneficiary spending it unwisely or too fast, or you just want to make sure their financial future is secure. You can stipulate the trust be given in lump sums at certain ages, or on a monthly basis as a sort of pay cheque. You could also stipulate exactly what the funds can be spent on, when they can be spent, etc. You can also do this in your will, if properly worded and very concise. This could do away altogether with the need for trusts as they can get expensive to create and run. Trusts are generally used in very high net worth situations when the expenses are of no big concern.
If it seemed like there’s a lot to estate planning, honestly, it’s because there is a lot! There is much to consider in the way of taxes, wealth distribution and final wishes and each aspect as many components to consider and implement. Something as simple as giving cash to your beneficiaries as part of their early inheritance will not only avoid probate, but can also bring you joy to see them enjoy your hard-earned wealth.
Estate planning is also not a one and done action, but something which needs to be revisited as things change throughout your life. If done properly and early, a will and estate plan will almost certainly need amending as your assets grow substantially, more children and grandchildren come into the picture or there is a change in your spousal/partner relationship. Most major life events have the potential to change your estate plan. A major death by a family member or loved one who was a beneficiary will likely warrant a major reallocation in your will. These aren’t events which are pleasant to think about, but it is necessary to protect the ones you love after you are gone. Most often we get caught up living life, and forget that we need to revisit our plan. That’s ok, you’ve worked this hard so you were able to enjoy your time and your loved ones. And while it is quite complicated to consider all of this when planning your estate, remember that you are not doing it alone. We’re here to help you every step of the way.