How Do You Know If You Need A Will?
Nearly every single day I’m asked by clients and referrals, “Do I need a will?”, so I’ve developed a foolproof two-question test to determine if someone needs a will. Here it is:
- Do you own stuff?
- Are you going to die?
If you answered “Yes” to both questions, you need a will! I’m serious. Everyone needs a will. It’s the best way to show your loved ones you care about them so they don’t have to figure out what to do with your stuff when you pass away.
and When’s a LIVING trust needed?
A living trust is like an enhanced will. It allows you to designate how your property is distributed while avoiding probate and allowing distribution at different ages or stages.
I find most folks establish a living trust in the following circumstances:
- If my client owns a home,
- If my client’s beneficiaries include young children, or
- If my client’s assets are worth more than $150,000.
What Else Do I Need?
I always recommend BDR’s Four-Part Plan. My plan includes the following four elements:
- Living Trust (including a trust transfer deed for one real property)
- Pour-Over Will
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Advanced Health Care Directive
It’s not enough to only have a trust or a will in place – you need to have a plan in the event you become incapacitated. You need to have a Durable Power of Attorney and Advanced Health Care Directive in the event of incapacity. These documents allow your designated agents to act on your behalf if you can’t make decisions for yourself.