April 4, 2011 RADIO SHOW
Revocable Trusts: Great for Planning Not Just Probate Avoidance
Money Matters Radio – Estate Planning Checklist
By: Martin M. Shenkman, Esq.
Introduction/Overview: Revocable trusts are commonly used to avoid probate, but are they also powerful tools to help those living with health issues? Absolutely – if properly done they can be the most flexible and protective planning step you can take.
Consider the following items?
What is the key benefit: If you reach a point because of aging, Alzheimer’s disease or any other health issue when it becomes difficult to manage your assets, you’ll have a mechanism in place, with protective safeguards, to do this for you. If done well, it may enable you to avoid a guardianship proceeding.
Who should be named trustee: You might be a co-trustee from the beginning. Consider not being the sole trustee so that if you become ill, or are hospitalized or face another emergency, you have a co-trustee to help out. Make sure whoever you name is trustworthy and has integrity. You don’t need to name someone with legal, investment or other special expertise. Someone trustworthy can hire outside experts to help.
What else should be done: Talk to the lawyer drafting the document and explain your current and likely future health challenges so that he or she can tailor the document to your particular situation. Here are a few examples:
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