Estate planning is a way
to protect your legacy
Estate planning is a way
and your loved ones by making it clearly known how you want your estate to be handled after you pass or become incapacitated.
Your estate includes everything you own: your car, home, other real estate, personal property, bank accounts, retirement accounts, investments, life insurance, etc. No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate and something in common – you can’t take it with you when you pass away. Whether you prefer a will or a revocable trust, a well-drafted document is essential to avoiding probate, taxes, and other legal issues. A complete estate plan generally consists of a last will or a trust, a living will, and a durable power of attorney. Our experienced attorneys at Gordon Delić & Associates can help you develop a plan that suits your needs!
Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament is a legal document that specifies who gets your assets when you pass away.
It can also contain other instructions for your loved ones to follow. A last will and testaments will often list one or more executors –administrators who are tasked with overseeing probate and execution of the will. Probate is a court supervised proceeding that determines the validity of your will and oversees the administration of your estate. The probate process begins when the executor of the will, a family member, or an attorney presents the death certificate to the local probate court. Probate is one of the biggest differences between wills and trusts.
A Revocable Trust is an alternative to a last will. A Revocable Trust is a separate entity that holds the property ‘in trust’. . .
. . .and allows you to transfer ownership of real property and/or assets from your personal ownership into the legal ownership of the Trust. Like a will, a Revocable Trust allows you to decide who will receive your assets and it enables you to revoke or amend the terms of the trust at any time. Unlike a will, a Revocable Trust allows you to exercise much greater control over your property, avoid the complexities and expense of probate, distributes property and assets to the beneficiaries almost immediately after death, and saves money in federal estate tax and capital gains taxes. A trust also keeps your estate private and outof the public eye.
A Living Will is also known as health care directive. It is entirely separate from your last will and testament that determines the inheritance of your assets.
A living will provides medical personnel and family members with instructions on how you want to be treated if you’re unable to express your wishes. A living will only comes into play if you’re incapacitated and unconscious.
Pour Over Will
If you have a Revocable Trust, you might also consider setting up a Pour Over Will to ensure that all your assets are protected after you pass away.
A Pour-Over Will works in a partnership with a Revocable Trust by allowing all of your assets to automatically transfer (pour over) to a previously set-up Revocable Trust if you forget to (or are unable to, or choose not to) move assets into your trust while you’re still alive. Because you’ll likely continue acquiring new property throughout your life, having a trust requires continuous management and maintenance. It’s easy to forget to transfer newly acquired property into your trust. This is where a pour-over will comes to the rescue.
Power of Attorney
Your estate plan should also include a financial power of attorney. A financial power of attorney is a legal document. . .
. . .that lets you appoint an agent or personal representative to manage your finances for you if you ever become unable to do so yourself. A durable power of attorney remains in effect if you become incapacitated, such as due to illness, an accident, and/or cognitive decline later in life. Your personal representative is allowed to handle many types of transactions, including buying and selling real property, managing bank accounts, investments, filing tax returns, etc. Absent a power of attorney, you family may have to go to court and have you declared incompetent before they’re able to make those decisions for you.
Power of Attorney
A Healthcare Power of Attorney (HPOA) designates someone to be your representative, or agent, and make decisions for you regarding your health care.
It is very similar to a living will and some people decide to have both. Whether you go with just a living will or a HPOA, you receive similar benefits. Like a living will, your personal representative may act on your behalf only when you’re unable to do so yourself. Choosing your agent is an important decision, and you should think carefully about who you want to assume this responsibility. This person may be the one to decide whether you should remain on life support.
Why Have an Estate Plan?
Keep Your Assets Out of the Hands of the Court
You should create a trust to avoid probate. Assets within a Revocable Trust pass easily to the beneficiaries named in the trust, without ever going through the probate process.
Protect Your Privacy
Nobody wants their financial history to be combed thorough by a judge or have their entire estate open to the public. Those trying to shield their family members from prying eyes often form a trust to pass their assets quietly.
Provide for Your Family
If your estate plan is drafted correctly, all your assets should be transferred to its intended beneficiaries after you pass. This leaves no questions to be resolved by the courts or cause for family discord.
Plan for Any Kind of Incapacity
Life is unpredictable. If you become incapacitated, a living will, a Revocable Trust, or a healthcare power of attorney can direct doctors, successor trustee, or your loved ones on how you want your care handled. No family member wants to make a life-altering decision. Make it for them so they don’t have to.
Ease Your Family’s Burden
Making funeral arrangements is never easy. Your estate plan can outline your wishes for funeral arrangements and even set aside funds for them. This takes some burden off your family during a difficult time.
Save on Attorney Fees
Probate can be very expensive, especially if your Last Will is challenged by anyone – trial prep, hearings, motions, filing fees, executor fees, all of these things can pile up. A well-drafted Revocable Trust enables you to bypass all of this and actually save money in the long run.
Ensure Your Business Continues with a Succession Plan
If you own your business, you’ll want to establish a plan to keep it going after your pass. An estate plan will name your successor trustee and outline continued operations of your business.
Protect Your Children
Nobody wants to think about dying young, but if you have small children, you need to prepare for the unexpected. Your estate plan should name a guardian/s that will take of your children if both parents die before your kids turn 18. Without an estate plan, the court will make these decisions for you.
What is Probate?
Court supervised process of transferring the ownership of your assets after you pass away with or without a Last Will. In Probate, the court determines the validity of you will (if you have one), a complete inventory of your estate is made, beneficiaries are located, creditors are paid, tax returns are filed, and title to the property is formally transferred to beneficiaries.
I Don’t Have a Lot of Things, So I don’t Need an Estate Plan.
It is less about what you have and more of what you want to do with your assets. Give them to a church, care for a special needs child, take care of your children from a previous marriage, etc.
What are the Advantages to Having a Will?
You decide who your beneficiaries are going to be, not the courts.
How Do You Create a Trust?
To establish a Trust, you’ll need to select a successor Trustee, fund the trust by transfusing assets into it, name the beneficiaries, and finally detail how you want the Trust managed once the successor Trustee takes over. You determine who will be the successor trustee – it can be a family member, a friend, or a professional trustee (a trust company or a bank trust department).
Can Anyone Make a Will?
Anyone who it at least 18 years of age and of sound mind can make a will.
Does a Revocable Trust Avoid Federal and State Estate Tax?
No. Because the decedent remains in control of the assets during his or her lifetime, the assets are included in the decedent’s taxable estate.
Benefits of a Pour Over Will?
A Pour Over Will transfers any assets that are not transferred into your Trust during your lifetime after you pass away. Your beneficiary for the Will would be your Revocable Trust, rather than individual beneficiaries. The language in your Pour Over Will should clearly state that any assets that are not in your Revocable Trust at the time of your death should transferred to the Revocable Trust.
Why Gordon Delić & Associates?
The software is great for a cookie-cutter will but it does not have the ability to cater to your needs. Each trust we draft for clients is different because each client has different needs. Meeting with one of our attorneys is helpful to discuss the all too familiar “what if” scenarios. Creating a truly unique plan is absolutely essential to make sure your assets are taken care of exactly how you want.
Online Programs Can’t Help You Execute the Will
If you don’t execute your will correctly, it will be invalid. Our attorneys will ensure that your will is executed properly and that there are no issues down the road. We will also help if you experience any changes in your life and need to update your will.
Attorneys and Accountants
Instead of wasting time and billables communicating with any accountants or outside counsel, we offer accounting and legal services in house. Our attorneys work with the IRS and the Idaho State Tax Commission on a daily basis so we stay updated to the Internal Revenue Manual and the State Tax Code.
Even if you do everything exactly how you are supposed to, someone can still come along and challenge your capacity and that can create an issue. Attorneys can testify as to your capacity and help make sure that your will is enforceable.
Our Process & What to Expect
Contact our office by giving us a call at 208-900-9509 or fill out this form. We’ll start with some questions about your assets and any existing estate plans, but know that you aren’t expected to have all the answers. From there, we will schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys.
Your consultation can be done by phone, Zoom, or in-person at our office in Downtown Boise. Think of your initial consultation as a chance to interview your attorney and our firm. You should feel comfortable asking questions and confident in our ability to answer them. Estate planning can be deeply personal, so it’s important that you feel safe and secure. Your attorney will also ask you about your situation to help determine which estate plan best suits your needs.
At the end of the consultation, your attorney will provide you with an outline of next steps for your estate plan. Based on the depth of your estate plan, we will provide a quote for our services. You are welcome to take all the time you need to review the plan and cost. Once you’re ready, we’ll be here to help!
After you retain our firm, we will provide you with a welcome packet and an in-depth questionnaire about your assets. In addition to your attorney, you’ll be assigned to one of our talented paralegals. They will be able to assist you with any questions or issues that arise along the way.
After we receive all necessary information, including a list of all your assets, your attorney and paralegal will start crafting your unique estate plan. You can expect to be in weekly contact with your team as they tailor each document to your needs.
When your estate plan is completed, you will sit down with your attorney to review the entire plan. Your attorney will explain each document and its purpose.
Once your estate plan is perfect, you can sign right away with one of our in-office notaries. You will walk out of our office knowing everything is complete and your assets are protected. We will always keep a copy of your estate plan should you ever lose yours or need another copy.