I awoke this morning to my regular routine of enjoying a fresh brewed cup of coffee and catching up on the news. I was disturbed to read an article about a woman with an Advance Directive in Ashland, Oregon suffering from early onset Alzheimer's disease is being spoon-fed despite her wishes.
Estate Plans are not static. As your life and family change so must your Estate Plan. Not to mention changes in the law that require an Estate Plan Update. An update to your Estate Plan is much like updating your resume. Think back to the last time you were sending out your resume.
Estate planning for couples in a second or later marriage who have disproportionate estates can be tricky. One solution for allowing the well-to-do spouse to maintain control of their assets but keep their other half happy is the Lifetime QTIP Trust.
If you have created a dynasty trust that you intend to last for decades into the future, the right trustee is critical to the trust’s longevity and ultimate success.
Initially you may think that a family member, such as a sibling (“Uncle Fred” to your children, who are the initial beneficiaries of your Dynasty Trust), is the best choice as trustee. After all, Uncle Fred understands the personalities and varying needs of your children, and since Fred has always been frugal, he will surely keep the costs of administering the trust down. These are good reasons to possibly select a family member, like Fred, to serve as trustee.
Some view asset protection planning with a skeptical eye. They believe there is a moral obligation to pay one’s debts. They think that asset protection planning is immoral because it prevents a creditor from collecting on a judgment entered by a court.
The truth is the U.S. justice system is unpredictable. Defendants are faced with ever-expanding theories of liability, being sued just because they appear to have “deep pockets,” and judgments entered against them based on desired outcomes instead of the law.
What, then, can you do that will ethically and legally protect your hard-earned assets from creditors, predators, and lawsuits?