Trust and Estates Newsletters
Although estimates vary, it’s pretty safe to say that more than 50 percent of the people who could make and leave a will fail to do so.
There are two kinds of durable powers of attorney for finances: those that take effect immediately and those that take effect only upon your incapacitation where one or two doctors declare that you can no longer manage your financial affairs.
Your attorney-in-fact only has the financial authority you grant him in the document creating a durable power of attorney for finances.
When a person dies, the first thing that must be done concerning distribution of his property is to determine whether he left a will. In most cases, the spouse or children will know or have an idea that there was or was not a will. If not, a search of the deceased’s papers and safe-deposit box may offer some leads. If the deceased had a lawyer or saw one before his death, the lawyer should be asked if he has any knowledge of a will.
A trust has five main elements. First, a settlor transfers some or all of his or her property. Second, the property transferred by the settlor is designated trust property. Third, the trust property designated by the settlor is transferred with the settlor’s intent that it be managed by another. Fourth, the trust property designated by the settlor is transferred for management by a trustee. Fifth, the trust property designated by the settlor is managed by a trustee for the benefit of a beneficiary.