Legacy Planning 101: Legal Legacy Planning Q&A

Absolute Trust Counsel’s Associate Attorney Madison Gunn was recently asked to be the featured speaker of the ‘Legacy Planning 101’ webinar for the aging community at MyHealthAngel. The mission at MyHealthAngel is to provide “a modern community for seniors that connects and inspires the ageless.” They believe that one’s state of mind largely influences aging and that all older adults should prioritize feeling good. MyHealthAngel promotes this philosophy by encouraging their community to stay engaged and connected, providing all the tools necessary to make more of life happen. We’re honored for the opportunity to support Madison, this organization’s mission, and share this presentation with you.

We understand that planning your legacy is never an easy task, and there are so many things to consider, where do you even start? For this presentation, Madison provides an in-depth introduction to legacy planning, highlighting the top ten most asked questions about the planning process and discussing some very important tools and strategies you should consider for your own estate. Afterward, Madison clears the floor for a Q&A session where she answers questions from webinar attendees that range from ‘Do I need a trust or a will?’ to ‘how do I protect my parent’s assets when dealing with a blended family’.

Some things you’ll learn from the presentation include:

  • The differences between a will and a trust, which one is right for you, and what capabilities each one has
  • What happens to your debt, belongings, and pets after you pass away, and who takes care of the aftermath
  • How to set up your end-of-life documents to meet your needs, wishes, and goals – who gets what, when, and how

And so much more.

Before you dive in, just remember it’s never too late or too early to start planning for the future. And you don’t have to have a million dollars or own real estate in order to have a will or trust. Estate planning is for everyone. We hope you will listen in, take notes, and share this presentation with your friends.

Big Three from the webinar:

  1. No one wants any ill will or tension between family members. Everyone has a unique family dynamic and situation, so it’s always helpful to have your wants and needs written down, updated regularly, or as significant life changes happen, and you discuss it with your beneficiaries/heirs because an estate plan usually impacts everyone in your family.
  2. Creating a trust is not limited to the wealthy! It doesn’t have anything to do with dollar amounts but rather with what assets you have and how you have them.
  3. Did you know that if you don’t have a Power of Attorney set up, no one, not even your significant other, will be able to manage your assets? They will have to go to court to get a conservatorship or guardianship, which means spending more time and money that could have been avoided.

Time-stamped Show Notes:

0:00 Introduction

1:25 Many people think that because they don’t own a home, then they don’t need a trust or will. If you own valuable personal assets, you should have something in place.

2:46 Wondering who will manage your assets if you become incapacitated or are unable? Madison talks about an important tool called a Power of Attorney that everyone should have.

4:18 Along the same lines, Madison segues into discussing who can make medical decisions for you and how to name your agents.

7:52 Next up, let’s talk about our furry friends. What will happen to pets if you can no longer care for them?

9:18 There are a lot of misconceptions about trusts. Listen in as Madison clarifies what trust is and who it’s for.

11:01 This next question is a big one we get pretty frequently: What will happen to my bank account when I pass away?

12:40 Another big question we get is, “Should I add my children to my bank account?”

14:26 Other accounts that you need to think about where you want to go include retirement accounts and/or life insurance accounts.

16:26 Thinking about how to split up your belongings can be challenging. Madison discusses why a will is the best way to say who gets what.

18:17 Times are very different. These days we keep photos on our phones and have a variety of social media platforms, which deems a couple of questions, “what do you do with your digital assets? And what exactly constitutes as a digital asset?”

20:15 Q&A: Is a trust the same as a will? The goals of the documents are the same, but having a will is not going to allow you to avoid the probate process. Listen in for more on the specifics differences here.

23:06 Q&A: Where is the safest place to keep a will? And do you need to give out copies of the will? Madison recommends choosing to store your will in a safe place outside of your home.

24:54 Q&A: Who will handle decisions for me and receive my belongings if I have no one else left?

27:37 Q&A: One of my adult children will inherit her share of my estate when both my husband and I pass away. If she gets a divorce after we pass away, will her husband still be entitled to her inheritance? And if so, how can we prevent this from happening?

29:05 Q&A: If the beneficiary split is 50/50 and one of your heirs passes away, will the full amount go to the surviving beneficiary? It really depends on the beneficiary designation itself. Start listening now for more.

31:05 Q&A: Listen in now as Madison talks with an audience member and makes recommendations on how to go about estate planning with a blended family.

33:33 Q&A: Does a trust need a certain amount of time to become fully in effect?

36:08 Q&A: Do I have to redo or get another notarization for my will if one of the people on my will moved to a different address?

37:09 Q&A: How do I decide between a trust or a will?

38:56 Q&A: Can you just write down who gets what in a notebook? Can I have a trust and a will? The short answer, YES!

42:26 Q&A: Is there any advantage to making your trust the beneficiary of your life insurance?

44:00 Q&A: Do trust assets have to be dispersed in a certain amount of time?

45:01 Q&A: Is the successor trustee paid a percentage of the assets or a specific amount, and if so, how much?

46:56 Q&A: If I have a simple online will, do I still need to go through probate?

49:53 Q&A: If I have all my end-of-life items paid for and sorted out, who actually executes the work?

51:14 Q&A: If a bank account has a beneficiary, should it be included in a trust?

52:48 Q&A: Who inherits any of my remaining debt? No one inherits your debt, your money will pay off the debt if there is more, and no one else is responsible for paying unless they cosigned on a loan

53:47 Q&A: If you already have a will in place with an attorney, can I attach a piece of paper with who I designate items to without going through my lawyer?

54:31 Q&A: What do I do if someone named me as their power of attorney and I no longer have a strong relationship with them anymore?

57:36 Q&A: Is there a flow chart that lists the things you need to put together prior to expiration?

1:00 Q&A: Where would you choose to set up a trust if you have a property in different states and split your time living between the two?

Interested in having Madison or Kirsten to speak at your next event? Send us a message through our contact us page, and we’ll reach out to you to discuss your special event, or feel free to call us at 925.943.2740.

More About MyHealthAngel
MyHealthAngel’s Mission is to provide a modern community for seniors that connects and inspires the ageless. Age is a state of mind often determined by how you feel, and at MyHealthAngel, we believe feeling good is a priority.

Staying connected to people promotes better health and happiness, and being active keeps your mind sharp. We offer weekly virtual events live on Zoom that focuses on inspiring topics with an emphasis on health, wellness, movement, education, and entertainment. The MyHealthAngel events are designed to keep you engaged, motivated and productive.

From technical assistance to virtual travel to tips on how to get a better night’s sleep, our mission is to give you all the tools and resources to stay connected to the care and services you need.

Let MyHealthAngel, and our 15-year relationship with the senior community be your trusted guide to help you enjoy every day to the fullest.

At MyHealthAngel, we believe the best YOU is yet to come!

For more information, visit https://www.myhealthangel.com or call 800.604.3550 to get in touch.

More Resources from Absolute Trust Counsel:

  • Guidebook 1: A Will is Not Enough – Securing Your Legacy with Estate Planning Life can change in an instant. A will is not enough to be prepared. Get free access to our actionable guidebook and start protecting your legacy today. Download Guidebook 1: https://bit.ly/ATCGuidebook
  • Guidebook 2: Estate Planning – Beyond the Basics The Essential Guide For Estate Planning Beyond the Basics. Learn how to comfortably define gray areas and assess your own unique needs to effortlessly build a secure future now. Download Guidebook 2: https://bit.ly/ATCGuidebook
  • Guidebook 3: An Introduction to Family Trusts Building your estate plan couldn’t be easier. Get our free introductory guide to the number one used estate planning tool, family trusts, and understand exactly how we plan to protect your family. Download Guidebook 3: https://bit.ly/ATCGuidebook

[Ad] Do you need help with your estate planning now? We can help. Together our Absolute Trust Counsel team will take a look at your situation and your specific needs and develop a strategic plan that will protect you and your loved ones, regardless of what may come. Here’s a link to schedule your free discovery today > https://absolutetrustcounsel.com/scheduling/. If you have any questions or need any help, please feel free to contact us by calling 925.943.2740 or sending an email to info@absolutetrustcounsel.com.