Estate Planning & Trust Administration  

Estate Planning

Courtney A. Martin prepares revocable living trusts, wills, durable powers of attorney for financial management, advance health care directives, and nominations of guardians, among other documents, for her clients.  She will discuss in detail what each document accomplishes and whether her clients need all or just some of these documents.

Trust Administration 

Trust administration is necessary when a person with a trust dies.  One of the main reasons for having a trust is to avoid probate, and as long as a person’s assets are set up correctly during their lifetime, trust administrations typically do not require court involvement. A major benefit of the trust administration process is that it is usually quicker and less expensive than a probate proceeding. Courtney guides the trustee of the trust, whether it is a surviving spouse, professional fiduciary, family member, or friend, to ensure that the instructions of the person who created the trust are carried out as intended.

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Estate Planning Myths and Reality 

 

Myth #1: Estate planning is only for the rich.

Reality:  Estate planning is important for everyone, regardless of how much you own or make.   

 

Not everyone needs the same estate planning documents, but everyone needs at least a basic plan in place because you cannot and should not just assume that things will be handled the way you want.  After reviewing your assets with you, Courtney will recommend and discuss which estate planning documents are most beneficial for your particular situation.

Myth #2: Estate planning is only for older people.

Reality:  Estate planning is important for all ages and stages of your life. 

 

It is not just about planning for death but also for incapacity, which can happen to anyone at any time.  Who would pay your bills?  Would you want someone to know ahead of time whether you would want to be kept on life support or not?   Who should be the guardians for your children if you are unable to care for them?  If you have the right documents in place, you can have peace of mind that things will be taken care of the way you want them to.

Myth #3: Estate planning is painful.

Reality:  Not doing any estate planning is painful, especially for your loved ones.    

 

Estate planning is not necessarily fun; however, it is one of the most important things that you can do to ensure that things go as smoothly as possible if something happens to you.  Dealing with incapacity or death is a very emotional and stressful process for all involved, but having the appropriate documents in place will at least make it less painful for the loved ones who are navigating this difficult process.  Courtney’s goal is to make the estate planning process be as simple and painless as possible for you. 

Myth #4: After I sign my estate planning documents, I can put them away and not think about them again.

Reality:  As with everything in life, things change. 

 

Laws also change, and estate planning documents often need to be updated as a result.  Courtney recommends reviewing your estate planning documents at least once every few years, and sooner when there are major life events like a death, divorce, new marriage, new child, or purchase of new real property.  Courtney wants to make sure that your estate planning documents reflect your current goals and expectations for the future.