"I need an estate plan, can you just draft a 'Simple Will' for me?"
I've heard this request more times than I'd like to admit and it makes me cringe. It's not because I can't fulfill the request, but because the request is just wrong. Let me explain.
Having a Will is a good, making it simple is good, and knowing you need an estate plan is good. However, having a Simple Will does not mean you have an estate plan. A Will is just one of many tools used to build an estate plan. On its own, a Will is just a Will; and it only works after you pass away.
Many estate plans contain irrevocable trusts designed to continue for the benefit of a spouse’s lifetime and future generations. It is important that these trusts include a trust protector; with the power to change trust provisions as circumstances, beneficiaries, and governing laws change.
Many trusts that will continue for the benefit of a spouse’s lifetime and for the benefit of several generations. By design, these trusts may span multiple decades. It is important for the trust creator to consider including powers of appointment; allowing the addition or removal of beneficiaries at each generation.
Today many estate plans contain irrevocable dynasty trusts that continue for the benefit of a spouse’s lifetime and then for the benefit of future generations. Your trust must clearly define the beneficiaries at each generation.
The old definition of "descendant" was: a person traced back to a specific ancestor through bloodlines. Modern families encompasses more than just blood heirs: