In a recent article by Suze Orman, she wrote that almost everyone needs a trust and revocable trusts are the way to go. The reality is that how you title your property and finances determine whether a trust is appropriate for you.
What I do as an attorney is review with my clients their assets and what they want to happen to those assets after they pass. That is an estate plan. It is simply a plan for what you want to occur and I as an estate planning attorney map that plan out through legal documents. Many times a trust is just an extra step that really doesn’t help clients and in some cases it can cause additional taxes.
Take a recent First District Court of Appeal case, the person who passed away updated his revocable trust prior to doing so, but he did not update his life insurance beneficiary to the new name of the trust. All trusts have a name so when the names didn’t match, the money didn’t go directly to his trust. This resulted in the life insurance proceeds not going straight to the new trust and were then taxed as part of the gentleman’s estate.
That is why your estate plan must be mapped out and followed. The money should go to your family, not the IRS. It is important that you consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to make sure everything that you want to occur after you pass actually does occur as you plan. I, Rebeccah Beller have been practicing since 1997 and I work hard to insure that your estate planning needs are met so your family is protected.