Questions to ask your estate planning attorney
A few important questions to ask your estate planning attorney
What assets will end up in probate?The short answer is any assets that pass using a will.
If assets have a joint owner or have a named beneficiary (think life insurance) those assets will pass outside of a will. Also, If your estate plan utilizes a trust those assets should also pass outside of probate.
How are my kids assets handled if I die while they are minors?A child's assets should be placed in a children's trust. And managed by a trustee you name in the will or trust document. You will choose who managed the assets, how they are to be managed and when the children will be able to withdraw those assets.
Who should I name executor?You should always name a trusted family member, friend or professional to act as an executor.
Do I need a healthcare Power of attorney?If you don't already have a Healthcare Power of attorney, you probably should have one. This document is extremely important should you ever become ill or injured. It will delegate who can make those decisions and any limitations on what those decisions are.
Does a Revocable living trust offer asset protection from my creditors?No, so long as you have the legal access to freely manage and use assets in your revocable living trust, then there is no creditor protection. Certain trusts can offer creditor protection but in order to receive that protection, you must have those assets managed by a 3rd party and not be able to access the assets freely.
I have an old will, does it need to be updated?It depends on your situation.
If you have had a major life event or change. Then it would be wise to have the Will reviewed. Depending on the change, it may need to be updated.
A few examples include
1) getting married
2) getting divorced
3) having children
4) those children reaching the age of majority
5) Losing a loved one
6) a major change in economic status
7) Moving to a new state
I've recently moved to South Carolina, Do i need to update my estate plan from a different state?Technically no. South Carolina will recognize an estate plan drafted in another state, so long as it was properly executed in another jurisdiction.
However, it would be wise to update it. Your estate plan should reflect the laws of the jurisdiction you reside in.