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Common questions about estate planning
Find answers on a range of topics – from probate and types of trust to how to select a trustee.
By: Edward Jones
What makes up my estate?
Your estate consists of all the assets you possess at the time of your death. These assets could include:
Who needs estate planning?
You work hard and carefully plan to meet your long-term financial objectives, such as financing an education, providing for your children and saving for retirement. However, many people put off estate planning or choose to ignore it altogether. Almost everyone needs some form of estate planning, especially those who:
What makes up a well-designed estate plan?
A well-designed plan:
If I have a living trust, do I still need a will?
You may still need a will to capture any assets that may not have been transferred to the trust during your life. A "Pour-Over Will" will transfer assets to your trust. Once you establish a living trust, you must remember to transfer your assets into the trust. Assets that are not in your trust, that do not have beneficiary designations or are not jointly titled with another individual may still be subject to probate.
What is probate?
The probate process includes:
Is probate a concern only for those with large estates?
Although some states have adopted simplified procedures that reduce the costs and time delays for small estates, probate applies to all wills regardless of the size of the estate. In addition, probate is usually necessary when an individual dies without a will (intestate).
What is a trust?
A trust is an estate planning tool that specifies how you would like your assets to be managed and distributed to your beneficiaries. It is a legal document that names an individual or institution to manage the assets placed in the trust. When you die or become incapacitated, the trustee can immediately manage the trust to ensure your spouse and dependents are cared for.
Edward Jones - Mae Luchetti