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Funding your Future: The importance of having a will or trust

Posted at 1:39 PM, Sep 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-14 15:39:29-04

Financial expert Rachel Langlois explained why it is so important for every person to have a will or trust. For more tips check out the Cyprus Credit Union blog post: How to Write a Will.

  1. Why is it important to have a will or trust in place?
    1. 64% of Americans do not have a will
    2. It may seem tedious but without it, the state has the power to decide what happens to your assets upon your death---including the fate of your children. These documents insure your wishes are carried out. Important if you own property (owns more than $100km in assets) or have children.
    3. Helps avoid potential conflict between those left behind.
  1. What are some of the biggest differences between wills and trusts?
    1. Wills
      1. Name guardian for children
      2. Names executor of your estate
  • Provides instructions for taxes and debts
  1. Trusts
    1. Avoid probate
    2. Avoids conservatorship
  • Keep privacy after death, not a public record.
  1. Are there other legal documents that are important in protecting ourselves financially?
    1. Power of Attorney
      1. Gives legal authority for someone to manage finances should you be unable, such as paying bills
    2. Health Care Directive
      1. Gives authority to make medical decisions on your behalf
      2. Outlines your preferences of care, such as whether you want life support
  1. How do we get started?
    1. Meet with your family lawyer
    2. Utilize an online resource such as LegalZoom, wills as low as $70.
    3. Start with at least a Holographic Will
  1. Once we have a will what do we need to do?
    1. Make sure to review as new assets are added or children born
    2. Make multiple copies (all signed by witnesses) and give to executor, family lawyer and one kept in safe place at home
    3. Create a document outlining account numbers and passwords to online accounts to ease in the management of affairs