Navigating the Financial and Legal Issues of Parkinson‘s Disease Presented at the Parkinson’s Institute July 14, 2010 Nancy Williamson, Esq. Specializing in Estate Planning 1290 Parkmoor Avenue, 3rd Floor San Jose, CA 95126 [email protected] SanJoseWillsAndTrusts.com Introduction Objectives of an Estate Plan Consequences of not having an Estate Plan The differences between a Will and a Living Trust Other Planning Considerations What are the objectives of a proper Estate Plan? An Estate Plan expresses your hopes, values and wishes for future generations. An Estate Plan is your last communication to your loved ones. An Estate Plan helps you to think about you and your families’ future, and plan for future needs (e.g. long term care needs, housing, etc.) What are the objectives of a proper Estate Plan? (cont’d) Minimize expense, cost and delays, in distributing your assets to WHOM you want and in the MANNER that you want. The Consequences of Not Having an Estate Plan If you do not have a Plan, the Government will impose a distribution plan for you. Unfortunately, most Americans fall into this category, as only 30% of all Americans have an Estate Plan The Consequences of Not Having an Estate Plan (cont’d) In the Event of Incapacity – Court Control At Death - Probate What is probate? Probate is costly Probate Fees, costs, attorney’s fees Probate is time consuming Is a Will Sufficient? Whether a Will is sufficient depends on a variety of factors. Celebrity Example Warren Burger Mistake: Creating an Ineffective Will Chief Justice Warren Burger died in 1995 with a $1.8 million estate and a will of 176 words he typed up himself. There's something to be said for brevity, but in this case, his family paid $450,000 in estate taxes, something that could have been easily avoided. And his executors had to pay to go to court to get approval to complete administrative acts, such as selling real estate. Source: Mayoras, Andrew W. & Danielle B. Trial and Heirs, Famous Fortune Fights! What is a Living Trust? A Revocable Living Trust is an Estate Planning device that utilizes many planning benefits. At Incapacity – No Court Control Financial Power of Attorney Power of Attorney for Healthcare Decisions At Death – No Probate What is a Living Trust? (Cont’d) Time – Distribution is quick and easy Flexibility and Control – while you are living, you can amend or cancel your Living Trust Privacy – the documents are private and accessible by the public How Does a Living Trust Work? Grantor (You) Creates and Controls the Trust Initial Trustee (You) Manages the Trust Successor Trustee(s) Steps in for Trustee at Incapacity or Death Beneficiaries Receives Assets When You Die Other Important Planning Considerations Naming a Guardian for Your Minor Children Providing for dependents with special needs The flexibility to choose trustees and agents for different parts of your Estate Plan Beneficiary Choice Children – distribution scheme Charities – you can specify how much you want to donate, and how these funds will be used Thank You for Attending!