Trust and Estate Planning
Have you put off planning your estate? With NCH, it’s easy and can help ease the burden on your family in the event of your passing.
Will and estate planning is arranging one’s affairs for when they pass away. Partnering with our in-house, independent law firm, NCH provides various estate planning options, from revocable living trusts to multi-generational dynasty trusts.
There are many benefits of estate planning, but the primary benefit is that it allows you to make decisions about the distribution of your wealth, otherwise decided by a probate judge. To most, this sounds straightforward – you dictate how and to whom to distribute your assets after you pass away. But the reality isn’t always so simple.
Factors to Consider When Preparing an Estate Plan:
- Assets and Property: Inventory your assets, like real estate, investments, bank accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and personal belongings. Consider how you want these assets to be distributed among your beneficiaries.
- Beneficiaries: Decide who you want to include as beneficiaries in your estate plan. This can include family members, friends, charities, or other organizations. Determine the specific assets or percentages you want to allocate to each beneficiary.
- Guardianship: If you have minor children, you may need to designate a guardian who will care for them in the event of your passing. This important decision should be carefully considered and discussed with the potential guardian.
- Health Care Decisions: Consider including healthcare directives such as a living will or health care power of attorney. These documents outline your preferences for medical treatment and appoint someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
- Executor and Trustee: Choose a trustworthy, capable executor who will manage your estate, ensure your wishes are carried out, and handle any legal and financial matters.
Estate Planning: The Benefits of Having a Corporation or LLC
In estate planning, there can be advantages to incorporating a corporation or setting up a limited liability company (LLC) as part of your overall plan. Here are some potential benefits:
- Asset Protection: By utilizing a corporation or LLC, you can separate your personal and business assets. This separation can provide a level of protection for your wealth if your business faces legal liabilities or creditors.
- Business Continuity: If you own a business, incorporating it or setting up an LLC can help ensure its continuity after your passing. You can designate successors or specify how ownership and management should transition, avoiding potential disputes or disruptions.
- Tax Planning: Corporations and LLCs offer various tax advantages and strategies that can be beneficial in estate planning. They provide opportunities for tax deductions, income splitting, and potential estate tax reduction, depending on your specific circumstances and the tax laws in your jurisdiction.
- Privacy and Confidentiality: A corporation or LLC can help maintain privacy and confidentiality regarding your business and personal affairs. It can shield sensitive information from public scrutiny, which can be important for some individuals and families.
- Succession Planning: Establishing a corporation or LLC allows for more structured and controlled succession planning. You can outline the transfer of ownership and management, ensuring a smooth transition according to your wishes.
- Creditor Protection: In some cases, incorporating a business or setting up an LLC can protect potential creditors seeking to access your assets. This can be particularly relevant if you have significant business-related liabilities.
- Professional Image: Operating as a corporation or LLC can enhance your professional image and credibility, which may be beneficial if you have a business or wish to establish a legacy for your family.
When working with a trusted business formation and estate planning provider like NCH, you can expect professional guidance and support throughout the estate planning process. This includes the following steps:
- Initial Consultation
You will have an initial consultation with the estate planning provider, where you can discuss your goals, concerns, and unique circumstances. This allows the provider to understand your specific needs and recommend appropriate options.
- Comprehensive Review
The estate planning provider will review your assets, liabilities, and family situation. This includes identifying and evaluating your assets, such as real estate, investments, bank accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and personal belongings.
- Customized Estate Plan
Based on the information gathered and your goals, the estate planning provider will create a customized estate plan tailored to your needs. This may include but are not limited to drafting a will, establishing trusts (such as revocable living trusts or dynasty trusts), and preparing healthcare directives and powers of attorney.
- Beneficiary Designations
The estate planning provider will help you clarify your beneficiaries and determine how you want your assets distributed among them. They will assist you in specifying the assets or percentages you wish to allocate to each beneficiary.
- Guardianship Considerations
If you have minor children, the estate planning provider will guide you in designating a guardian who will take care of them in the event of your passing. They will help you make this important decision and ensure it is legally documented.
Got a Question? Start Here
Estate planning ensures your assets are distributed according to your wishes, minimizing family disputes. It also allows you to appoint guardians for dependents and reduce tax liabilities, providing financial security for your loved ones after you're gone.
While a will outlines asset distribution after death, a trust can manage assets during life and after death. Trusts often avoid probate, which ensures privacy and faster distribution. Estate planning encompasses both, allowing you to tailor solutions to individual needs.
Anyone with assets, dependents, or specific wishes for their legacy can benefit. It's not exclusive to the wealthy; even modest estates benefit from organized and thoughtful planning and ensuring your wishes are honored in managing and distributing your estate.
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