When it comes to estate planning, some people know about Living Trusts, but most people know about Wills.
Wills are referenced often in movies and television shows, but what most people don’t realize is that Wills are effectively becoming obsolete.
If you have a Will, you may be thinking, “Wait…WHAT?! What does mean for me?!” Not to fear, what I mean by “obsolete” isn’t so much that it isn’t valid, but that it’s a highly outdated estate planning for most families. Here’s why.
WHERE THERE’S A WILL…
…there’s a Probate! A Will requires a court proceeding known as Probate to properly execute and ensure that the Will is properly executed. This process does come at an additional cost and can take some time. The Probate process here in California can and often is an extremely lengthy and expensive experience for many families. In addition to that time and expense, another major (and often overlooked) issue is that Probate is a court-supervised legal process, which means that it also becomes public record. The estate could become the target of attack from potential creditors and scrupulous third parties.
FAMILY DYNAMICS ARE MORE COMPLICATED THAN EVER
Another reason why Wills are becoming more and more obsolete has to do with the fact that family dynamics are becoming more and more complicated. Between blended families, including children from prior marriages, and also relationships with children and concern about children receiving their inheritances outright in the form of a large sum of cash or money, a Will does not have nearly the sophisticated levels of planning and distribution that can be done utilizing a Living Trust.
PEOPLE ARE LIVING LONGER THAN EVER
Last, but certainly not least, one of the major reasons why I believe Wills to be obsolete has to do with the fact that, thanks to modern medicine, people are living longer than ever. According to the CDC, 2 out of every 5 people over the age of 65 have some kind of disability. People are requiring additional help and care from loved ones and medical professionals. If you have a Will in place, you may require a court-appointed person to oversee your daily and financial affairs. A properly drafted Living Trust, however, can already have provisions in place for whom you wish to take over for you and make decisions if you’re unable to do so and does not require the involvement of the Courts.
A LIVING TRUST IS THE BEST OPTION!
This is why we recommend a Living Trust as the best estate planning vehicles for most of our clients. It’s the only estate planning vehicle that can properly address all of the potential concerns and issues with a Will, such as proper distribution, management and estate preservation, while also avoiding the involvement of the Court.
We, at the Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis, have been helping our clients for years properly set up and maintain Living Trust-based estate plans now for over 38 years. Whether you have an estate plan in place or not, we invite you to attend one of our free upcoming seminars and learn more about how a properly drafted and up-to-date estate plan can help you and your family for years to come. Click here to view upcoming seminar dates.