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Why do I need a living will and a living trust?

Whereas a living will designates your health care and end-of-life wishes, a living trust has significant advantages after you’re gone.

Both are important ways to ensure your intentions will be met, for the sake of your beneficiaries and/or your children. By legalizing important decisions before they become necessary, you absolve others from the guilt associated with deciding what happens to you or how your personal items will be divided. 

Plan ahead to smoothen your estate division and save money

If you are a parent, you are likely concerned about what will happen to your children after you’re gone, regardless of their ages. You may choose to divide your estate for your children through a living trust, to avoid contention and preserve as much money for them as possible by keeping your estate out of court.

This allocation may prove especially helpful for adult children who live out-of-state, children with special needs and blended families.

You worked hard your entire life, striving to create a better life for your children – a living trust can help you pass along as much money as possible to your heirs in the event of your passing. By working with an attorney in advance to designate who gets what, you reap further benefits which may include:

  • A smooth transition of the division of your estate
  • Inheritance tax savings
  • Keeping your estate out of probate
  • Maintaining your family’s privacy

Since a living trust will not go through the probate process, your finances and your children’s’ inheritance will not become public record. With increasing concerns of privacy protection, a living trust may add another layer of security to your loved ones’ privacy.

Communicate your desires before it’s too late

By setting up a living will, also known as a healthcare directive in some states, you can predetermine the course of action taken for your healthcare preferences. In so doing, you can ensure your wishes are met, without forcing someone else to make painful decisions based on what they want or believe to be best.

In both cases of a living will and a living trust, you can take preventative measures to ensure your loved ones honor your wishes, while looking ahead to the needs of your children after you are gone. While you can’t erase the burden of losing a loved one, you can help your children and/or beneficiaries through the process.

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