Wills and Trusts

Estate Planning: a simple definition

Estate planning consists of tasks that help manage your assets in the event of your incapacitation or death, including giving assets to heirs and settling any estate taxes.

Your estate assets (that must be managed) can include:

  • Real estate/homes
  • Investments/securities
  • Life insurance benefits
  • Bank Accounts
  • Businesses
  • Vehicles (e.g., car/boat)
  • Memberships (e.g., country clubs)

Elements of an estate plan

WILL: Your Last Will and Testament describes how you want your property distributed upon your death.

TRUST: A Trust is a relationship in which one party, known as a Trustor, gives the Trustee, the right to hold title to property or assets for the benefit of a Beneficiary. 

ADVANCE DIRECTIVES: An advance healthcare directive — a “living will” — allows a person specify what actions should be taken for their health if they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves.

DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY: This is a document that allows someone to act in your place (if you are incapacitated) on issues of health and finance.

LISTING OF YOUR POSSESSIONS AND ACCOUNTS: This should show what you have and importantly, where it can be found.

About trusts — easier access, tax advantages

Like a will, a trust can transfer ownership from the Trustor (or Grantor) to someone else after death. It can, hopefully, result in wise distribution of money and property. A trust can allow you to protect money from taxes for possible charitable contributions. It can even be used to eliminate estate taxes! The trust agreement can be structured to help give the trustor easy access to the money.

What is a living trust?
A living trust eliminates probate for you. It allows your designated Successor Trustee to carry out your instructions as documented in your living trust at your death, and also if you’re unable to manage your financial, healthcare, and legal affairs. Living trusts are not made public after death.

What are revocable and irrevocable trusts?
– Revocable: can be changed at any time.
– Irrevokable: cannot be changed after the trust agreement is signed.

Find out how great estate planning can protect your legacy and work for you and your loved ones. Visit our contact us page to complete our form, call 972-331-1060 or send an email to to get started.