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Having a Will and/or other estate planning documents in place is a great thing. It helps you achieve peace of mind knowing your loved ones will be taken care of and how your wishes will be carried out. However, when those documents are not refreshed and updated to reflect changed circumstances, their value can quickly be diminished. Often times updating your estate plan is a necessity to ensure your wishes are carried out the way you have envisioned. Funny enough, celebrity estate planning news can be helpful, because it gives us a glimpse into how well – or how poorly – our music and movie icons have planned for what will happen to their estates when they die.
According to a recent TMZ article, music artist Britney Spears is taking steps to update her existing Will, which was written before her children were born. If Britney was to die before any changes were implemented, her children would inherit her entire estate the moment they turned 18. Regardless of whether your estate is worth $100,000 or $200 million, inheriting any sum of money as an 18-year old can be a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, the performer seems to realize this, as reports indicate she will be using trust provisions to protect assets until her children reach age 35.
Creating a separate revocable trust, or creating testamentary trust provisions within a Will, can help protect your children’s inheritance by putting some structure around how – and when – assets are to be distributed. You also get to oversee naming someone as the trustee– the one that will manage assets for your children according to terms you specify. It is common to give your trustee the authority to make distributions for your children’s health, education, support and welfare until the trust is ultimately exhausted or distributed. Beyond that, you can control whether distributions are made every few years, when your children attain certain ages, or upon meeting other requirements, all which you get to define.
If your existing estate plan would result in your children inheriting when they turn 18, please contact us today to discuss updating your estate plan. Our firm will guide you in all stages of the preparation process, from reviewing your assets to discussing your estate planning goals, to drafting the living trust so that it accurately reflects your wishes. By utilizing our services, you’ll have greater control over your estate and will most effectively preserve your assets for your loved ones.