Estate Planning by Lifecycle
If you establish your living trust in your 40s or 50s, you are still in the productive prime of your life, your children are young, and your financial picture occasionally becomes redrawn by job changes or other circumstances that impact your income. Your living trust was written to reflect and will speak to your life at that time, with provisions that deal with the management of your children’s inheritance if you die prematurely while they are minors.
Then, in the blink of an eye, you find yourself in your 60s or 70s, your children grown and your financial picture a bit more permanent. Along with these life changes come new provisions in your living trust that deal with minimizing the estate tax and protecting your children’s inheritance from any risks of loss in their lives that you perceive (e.g., divorce, addictions, financial immaturity).
Finally, when you are in your 80s and 90s and your life expectancy can be measured in single digits, things get real. Your financial picture is set and you know how much estate tax planning must be done. You know who your children have become, and you have the information you need to make informed decisions on how and when they should receive their inheritances. You have grandchildren who are precious to you and who you want to include as beneficiaries to help them to get a leg up in life to buy that home, begin that business and start that family. Once more you amend your living trust to accommodate those changes.
Common Living Trust Changes
There are plenty of life changes that should spur you to amend your trust document. The most frequent reason to amend a living trust is the sale of trust property. Other events that require a change might be a marriage or the birth of a child. The trust might also have to be amended if the grantor moves to another state in order to comport with the new state’s law. A name change of the grantor or the death of the spouse or of a major beneficiary are reasons to amend as well.
There are amendments to living trusts that are not so sweeping. Whereas many of your changes will involve a complete rewrite of the document, such as those which address the changes in your family and finances as just described, many more will address only one or two issues. The most common such amendments include:
- An amendment to change the person who serves as your life-time agent in the event of your incapacity.
- An amendment to change the persons who serve as your after-death agent.
- An amendment to add or delete specific bequests of cash or other assets.
- An amendment to delete a specific gift of an item after you no longer own that item.
- An amendment to disinherit a child or grandchild.
- An amendment to change the disposition of personal property such as clothes, furniture, jewelry, antiques, automobiles and collections to another person.
If you have questions about how your life changes have effected your living trust, please give the experienced estate planning attorneys at Yee Law Group, PC a call.
Yee Law Group, PC: Sacramento/Roseville Estate Planning Law Firm
At Yee Law Group, PC LLP, we bring clarity and peace of mind to the often-confusing area of estate planning. Our entire team will work closely with you to protect your interests, your family, and your life’s work. For the experience and sound advice that is needed from an estate planning lawyer, please give us a call at (916) 599-7297 to discuss your issues and concerns.