Giving up control over our lives or our assets is difficult. But there are times when we should consider giving other people the authority to make decisions about matters such as our finances and health care. Establishing a trust long before it is needed or granting power of attorney for various purposes can be a very sensible planning move.
Is there someone you trust that you would want to take over your financial affairs if you were unable to manage them? What if that individual lacked the skills or the time needed to manage your affairs effectively? One way to deal with the situation involves the use of a revocable living trust — with a professional trustee that could easily take over your financial management duties if necessary.
With a living trust, you transfer assets into the trust, generally naming yourself as the trustee. You also name a successor trustee, someone both experienced and trustworthy, such as our organization. You manage your finances as usual, until the circumstances that you’ve identified in your trust agreement prevent it. Then, the successor trustee will take over management of the trust assets according to the trust’s terms.
A living trust can be remarkably flexible. You retain full control of your assets during your lifetime. And, since it’s a revocable trust, you can change trustees or you can add or retract the responsibilities you have given to your trustee, amend the trust’s provisions, or even revoke the trust entirely.
Moreover, your trust can protect your family after your death by keeping your assets under a professional investment manager’s uninterrupted care. And, since trust assets don’t pass through probate, the settlement of your estate will generally be easier, faster, and often much less costly.
Health Care Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney for health care names someone else to make medical decisions for you under certain circumstances. Once a valid health care proxy is in place, hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers must follow your agent’s decisions as if they were your own. You can outline in great detail what type of medical treatment you want (or don’t want) provided to you under various circumstances, and your agent has a duty to convey your wishes.
A Living Will
A living will generally addresses the type of medical care you want (or don’t want) as it relates to life sustaining treatments. For example, you can instruct medical personnel not to use life support measures to keep you alive.
For any questions on your investment plan, contact a Security National Bank Wealth Management advisor below.
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