Recently I received an inquiry from a person whose fiancé died without a will. This person wanted to know what rights she had in the estate of her fiancé. When a person dies without a will the laws of intestacy apply to the distribution of the person's property.
When estate planning for real estate assets, you should consider choosing an entity that will provide sufficient liability protection, protecting yourself against liabilities generated by the real estate, and determining who will manage the real estate after your death.
Divorce protection is an important aspect of asset protection and estate planning. With a 50% national divorce rate, it is commonplace for people to protect themselves and their children’s inheritances from former spouses.
Many people will use a revocable trust as their primary estate-planning document but fail to fund the trust. Funding a trust means retitling the assets and accounts that you wish the trust to control and placing those assets in the name of the trust. Sounds quite simple right?
Often people feel that once they have completed their estate planning documents there is no need to review the plan. Failing to periodically review your estate plan can result in unintended consequences that do not accomplish your intended goals.
A Revocable or "living trust" is created during your lifetime, has a trustee, and owns property that you have transferred to it during your lifetime. While you are living, the trustee (who may be you) is responsible for managing the property for your benefit.