WILL IN A DAY
What is the difference between Will in a Day and a form I can buy online?
A will is part of your asset transfer plan for your family but it is not the entire plan. An online form may say the right thing but not do the right thing for your situation. There are assets that you think will transfer a certain way, but if the asset is incorrectly titled then your family may end up in probate court. The Will in a Day package includes a discussion on asset transfer and clients typically leave with instructions to make at least one update for an asset to transfer outside of probate.
The importance of an estate planning discussion:
Learn whether your real estate will transfer by law or if probate will be required.
Discuss how bank accounts and stocks can be transferred by law without the need for probate.
Learn how your investment plans and life insurance can fund a trust for your minor child.
Discover whether you need to update the beneficiaries for your retirement plan.
Discuss the role you would like performed by a minor child's guardian.
Learn whether your goals for your assets can be achieved through your will.
Change your perspective:
Few people have assets during their life that they feel the need to protect through estate planning. Typically, for younger adults, there is a mortgage on the house and few assets that can be liquidated. Older adults can have similar circumstances. Instead of looking at assets on hand, look at how those assets are valued at your death. A retirement account with $60,000 doesn't provide value today because it would cost $6,000 to withdraw any of it, but funding a trust with that amount can provide great benefits to your beneficiaries.
Now is the time:
The Will in a Day package is for you. In a few hours, you will have the documents you need to accomplish your goals. You are the only person who has to sign documents for your individual estate planning. By now you know that steps can be taken to ease the burden and costs of your estate for your family. Your estate plan is for those that survive you. Let your legacy be one of memories of your life, not of fights after your death about money and property. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with leaving the Will in a Day meeting having done everything you can to take care of your family.
A "Trust" is a confusing topic for many people.
It isn't only for people with large assets and in most families it isn't for tax planning purposes.
Trusts for minor children:
A "basic will" - one that you can purchase online or through an office supply store, will not include a trust. The Will in Day package for parents with minor children automatically includes a testamentary trust. A testamentary trust is part of your will and takes effect on your death; there is no management of the trust during your lifetime. Without the trust, minor children will have access to their full inheritance at age 18. In the trust, you set out what ages and what amounts are distributed to the children.
Trusts for surviving spouse and adult children:
As stated above, a basic will does not include a trust. A revocable trust in tandem with a will can prevent your assets from being subject to the court's probate process. Creating a revocable trust means a surviving spouse doesn't have to update his or her will in the future to avoid probate for adult children beneficiaries.
Importance of life insurance:
The easiest way to fund a trust for your children is to take out a life insurance policy and name the trust as the beneficiary. A life insurance policy can also be designated to pay for your funeral and burial. Funeral and burial costs average $10,000. Without planning to cover the costs, they have to be paid by the survivors.
Does a will avoid probate?
Probate is a court-supervised procedure for transferring assets from a decedent to the beneficiaries or heirs. A will does not avoid probate, unless all assets are held jointly with the surviving spouse. A will does not avoid probate if assets under a contract (IRA, 401(k)) do not have a named beneficiary. The probate process is a minimum of four (4) months. There are always court costs required and they are calculated based on the gross value of the estate. An attorney is not required but often necessary for satisfying the Iowa probate laws. The attorney can earn up to 2% of the value of the estate. Once probate is started with the court, creditors are given notice and if they have a valid claim, get paid before any inheritance is distributed. A trust protects your assets from creditor claims because it is not a public document and no disclosures are required on death. There are circumstances that having a will does not avoid probate, but there are almost always strategies to bypass the probate process with good planning; this discussion is part of the Will in a Day package.