Prospective Clients FAQ
+ Estate Planning has been on my “To Do” List for a long time; where do I start?
First of all don’t feel badly, the American Bar Association reports that nearly two thirds of all Americans do not even have a simple will. At Cain & Cain, we are big believers in education; without education you won’t have the information to make an informed decision about the right estate planning technique for you and your family. Once you learn more about the common forms of estate transfer including will-based plans and revocable living trust-based plans, you will have the information necessary to decide how best to protect your family, your wealth and achieve true peace of mind. Remember, education is a two-way street. It is your responsibility to educate us about your family situation, your concerns, your goals and your assets. Call our office today to schedule a telephone conference with an attorney (at no charge) to begin the estate planning process by discussing your particular situation and concerns. Or, make a reservation to attend the next Truth About Estate Planning™ Workshop at our office.
+ Do most estate plans work as intended?
Unfortunately, the truth about estate planning is that many revocable living trusts do not work as people expect they will. Following are some of the reasons most estate plans do not work:
- Client does not receive proper counseling by an experienced estate planning attorney. Custom plans created especially for your family, your assets, your goals, and your situation form the basis of a plan that works, unlike form documents and simple word processing.
- Proper asset titling. This is what we call trust “funding”. Funding of the trust simply means organizing the assets so the trust instructions will govern those assets. Funding a trust may involve retitling bank accounts, doing real estate deeds, redoing life insurance or IRA beneficiaries. In short, every asset you have must be intentionally organized with the trust in mind.
- Estate plans are not properly maintained. As life changes, laws change and learning changes, your plan can quickly become out of date.
- Education of your family. If your family understands their roles, responsibilities, and instructions, settlement of your estate will take less time, be less stressful, and there will be less likelihood of family conflict.
+ Besides making things easier for my loved ones when I am gone, what else can proper estate planning accomplish?
- Avoid probate
- Transfer assets privately after death
- Protect your beneficiaries assets in the event of a divorce, a catastrophic illness, or from lawsuit creditorss
- Provide disability protection for you and your loved ones in the event you become unable to manage your own financial affairs
- Organize your assets so that someone else can help manage them
- Avoid estate taxes
- Avoid family conflict over complex assets such as family farms, businesses, etc.
- Create fairness and avoid family conflict in blended families