At the Law Offices of Mark Ruiz we have a comprehensive Estate Planning Package which includes a Living Trust, a Pour Over Will, and Advanced Health Care Directive and a Durable Power of Attorney.
- Living Trusts : Nowadays, in terms of planning for the hereafter, it is generally recommended that a person set up a Living Trust, rather than a Will, for three reasons. First a Living Trust is more cost effective because when a person passes away with a Will they are subject to probate which often entails expensive attorneys fees and court costs. Administering a Living Trust is generally more cost effective than administering a Probate. Second, Probate is often time consuming because it involves the oversight of the court. A Living Trust can be administered without the oversight of the court, and thus, tends to move more rapidly. Third, for those concerned about privacy, Trusts are preferable to Wills because , if your Estate is subject to Probate, when you die your assets will have to be disclosed to the court in an Inventory and Appraisal and your net worth and assets become a matter of public record.
- Wills and Pour-Over Wills: Although you can circumvent Probate by having a Living Trust rather than a will, it is still imperative to have a document called a Pour-Over Will prepared along with your living Trust. This is to ensure that the assets which are inadvertently not transferred into the Trust during your lifetime, become part of the Trust's assets when you pass away. For example, you might have set up a Living Trust, but forgot to title a Charles Schwab Account with $400,000 as a Trust Asset. If you have a Pou-Over Will which states that you intend all of your assets to become part of the Trust, it should be relatively seamless to title the Schwab Account as part of the Trust upon your death. Please note that there are also rare occasions when it makes sense to have a Will rather than a Trust, such as when court oversight is desirable to make determinations regarding legal and equitable ownership of certain assets .
- Durable Powers of Attorneys: It is a good idea to have a Durable Power of Attorney so that, in the event of incapacity, a loved one such as a Spouse can make financial decisions such as buying and selling Real Property, opening and closing Bank Accounts, transferring property into a trust or initiating or defending a lawsuit on your behalf.
- Advanced Health Care Directive: Advanced Health Care Directives allow you to specify your wishes in critical situations. These wishes indicate in what situations, if any, would you like to be placed on life support or if you would like to be an organ donor. Additionally, you will appoint a loved one to be your representative to ensure that your wishes are carried out in these sort of critical situations.
- Trust Transfer Grant Deed: Once your Living Trust is established it is still necessary to transfer your assets into the Trust. A Trust Transfer Grant Deed for your primary Residence is included in our Comprehensive package and for an additional fee the Law Offices of Mark Ruiz can prepare additional deeds for any Investment Properties you may own.