5 TOP reasons to give your family a RLT Package jUNE 2019

Why did Forbes Daily Dozen say Aretha Franklin “was a startling example of terrible estate planning” (three handwritten wills). Read more.

Estate planning is not just for the rich. Estate planning is for those who are rich in love for their family. The clients who are most grateful for my RLT Package are the surviving spouses. one client couple had only about $180,000 in assets, owned mostly by the husband. They chose to obtain an RLT for him. After he passed away, she was so pleased with the ease of dealing with his trust that she immediately obtained one for herself.

If you know me, you know that the RLT package is my favorite estate planning approach. My RLT package consists of a revocable living trust (RLT), durable general power of attorney, backup will and advance care plan. A Trust is a legal relationship defined by a trust agreement under which you give your property to yourself Trustee, to manage for one or more Beneficiaries. The RLT begins during your life when you sign a trust agreement and place your property under its control. You are usually your own Trustee and beneficiary, so you manage the trust on your behalf as long as you can.

Here are my TOP FIVE reasons for my Revocable Living Trust Package.

First: The RLT package avoids the Probate process.

Without the RLT in most cases your family must ask the Probate Court for authority to use your will and to manage your estate. Why worry about Probate? Do you know anyone who has been an Executor? I regularly handle Probate Matters and my father was a Probate Judge. My father asked me to draft him an RLT. What does that tell you? The Probate process takes several months and costs several thousands of dollars in legal fees. It includes court appearances, deadlines, penalties, bonds, inventories, accountings, negotiations with creditors, banks, brokers and insurance companies, frozen property sales, and more. The last thing a grieving family needs is to deal with the government for several months.

The RLT package offers excellent health care choices.

Tennessee provides an “Advance Care Plan” that serves the purpose of a Living Will and names persons who can make medical decisions for you if you cannot. The Advance Care Plan also allows you to tell your doctor to what treatments you want or don’t want if you end up with specified serious medical conditions, like artificial feeding or breathing equipment.

The RLT package provides you a superior legal backup the DPOA

The Durable General Power of Attorney (DPOA) authorizes your”attorney in fact” to act on your behalf legally, such as signing contracts. The DPOA works even if you lose mental capacity. The DPOA works hand in hand with the RLT. For example, your attorney in fact can transfer stray property into the RLT. The DPOA is very handy document. If you are travelling or otherwise not available but need legal documents signed, the person you authorize can handle these matters for you.

The RLT package avoids a guardianship

The RLT package avoids the embarrassment and expense of a guardianship if you lose your mind! You are more likely to lose your mind than to die, as the result of illness or accident Without planning, if you do lose your mind, you will need a court appointed guardian, to manage your affairs. This is a costly and embarrassing experience. An RLT package handles incapacity and usually avoids a guardianship. The RLT .owns your property so if you lose capacity your successor trustee takes over. The Durable General Power of Attorney (DPOA)

The RLT package offers superior asset management and protection

The RLT package offers superior management and protects your assets for your family members. An RLT package works for those you love long after your death. For example, minor beneficiaries can own only a small amount of property, so without an RLT the Court will appoint a legal guardian to manage that property and report back to the court every year. You can provide a trust in your will, but a will with a trust will cost about the same as a RLT so why not get the best?

About Wis Laughlin

I help clients with tax preparation and IRS representation, estate planning, and complex contracts, including LLC's. As a former IRS tax attorney in their National Office. Law.com picked Wis in 2017 and several prior years as one of the Top Tax and Estate Lawyers in Tennessee. I am your advocate, not your accountant. I don't tell you what you can't do. I show you how to do it.
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