San Diego seniors have a trust or a will
When you think of Wills and Trusts there is a good chance you automatically think of it as something to do in your old age. After all, why should you be planning for the end of your life when you’re nowhere near it? In truth, unfortunate events or even disaster can strike at any time, and those who have children or assets need to take early precautionary measures to ensure they are protected. You need to spell out precisely how you want your assets dispersed, and how you want your care provided. It’s not just baby boomers and retirees that need to start thinking about Wills and Trusts! There are also plenty of other decisions that need to be made in the event you become incapacitated and you must make a very important decision. So…should San Diego seniors have a Trust or a Will?
Should San Diego Seniors Have a Trust or a Will?
Both Wills and Trusts can be effective estate planning documents in the case of your death. These documents respectively should enable you to coordinate the transfer of your assets but one might be better suited for you than the other. Wills and Trusts both serve a similar purpose: to ensure that anyone who has children or assets can have their property handled internally without forcing the family to spend years in probate or have the state claim ownership. But which one should you choose? In order to determine this, you must know the differences between a Trust and a Will.
Will: A legal document that directs the disposition of your assets after your death. A Will ensures a very smooth process for everyone after you’re gone and it serves as a way to name a guardian for your children (something you as a retiree likely won’t need).
Living Trust: A legal document that becomes valid when you execute the documents and your property is transferred into it. Essentially, you as the grantor and trustee can manage the assets until they’re passed onto a previously selected trustee. The main difference between a Will and a Living Trust is that a Will takes effect only upon your death, while the Living Trust is valid during your lifetime. Also, a Living Trust can make provisions for your estate in case you are incapacitated, which a Will cannot do without a power of attorney. Those things (and other minor details) being considered, should San Diego seniors have a Trust or a Will? Let’s take a closer look at some rather complicated factors that may influence your decision.
Assets – San Diego Baby Boomers Selling Their Homes
For San Diego baby boomers selling their homes, assets are something to be considered when choosing a will versus a living trust. Why? Until the point of sale, a home is an asset to be factored in. Each state establishes an asset value below which Wills can bypass probate (the legal point at which a document is proven valid after death which can be a drawn-out process), but that doesn’t mean estates of lower value might not benefit from Living Trusts; it simply means that the value must be taken into account along with the timing of benefits and weighed against the cost. If you own one or more homes, a Living Trust would be worth considering simply because of the complications caused by the ownership of multiple properties.
San Diego Senior Housing – Retirement Accounts and Other Assets
For those who’ve sold their home and have taken full advantage of San Diego senior housing, a Living Trust might not be the best option. Why? If the assets you possess consist of bank and retirement accounts, then you don’t need a Trust to avoid that lengthy and expensive probate process. All you need to do is fill out a few beneficiary forms in advance with the help of a professional:
- Transfer on Death
- Pay on Death (initiates automatic transfers into the respective accounts (in state).
Senior Living in San Diego – What’s Best for You?
As a senior living in San Diego, it’s vital that you take into consideration all aspects of both a Will and a Living Trust. The goal is to ensure a smooth transfer of your assets and eliminate a drawn out and expensive probate process. Consider things like… Do you have children who are minors? Do you have grandchildren or children with special needs? A Living Trust will allow you to determine in advance the amount of access they have to their inherited assets; a Will alone does not allow you to exercise much control over the use of those assets. As a responsible parent in San Diego, seniors have a trust or a will.
Senior San Diego Home Owners – What’s Best for You?
It’s wise for senior San Diego home owners to take their property (or properties) into consideration before you decide which document is appropriate. What types of properties do you own? Do you own one home, or multiple homes? How big are your homes and in how many states do they exist? Are any of the homes size-able enough to be subject to estate taxes? Will you be actively managing any of these homes? In a nutshell – the bigger your asset accounts in terms of real estate, the more likely you’ll want to choose a Living Trust.
As a general rule of thumb, seniors over age 55, in waning or relatively poor health with a complex family situation, a high desire for privacy, an estate that might be significantly taxed or own any out of state real estate (vacation homes, etc…), should select a Living Trust. Living Trusts are more expensive, but are significantly easier to deal with than legal Wills. Don’t scrimp on money today only have your children and grandchildren pay the price in court costs and attorney fees in a long, drawn out probate process after you’re gone. If all signs point towards Living Trusts, save your family the headache and have one created before it’s too late.
Meta: Should San Diego Seniors have a Trust or a Will? Learn a bit more about Wills and Living Trusts so that you can determine what’s best for you and your family.
Call me or send me an email, I’ll be happy to help you sell your home when you are ready.