Anyone who has experienced the mental and physical decline of a parent with dementia remembers the moment when they realized their parent's health situation was serious.
Imagine you have an 18-year-old child, and you have $3 million in your retirement account. You know that your 18-year-old isn't ready to handle this amount of assets, but you also want your child to receive the money if you unexpectedly pass away. One way to handle this issue allows you to safeguard your assets from being spent irresponsibly while still permitting your son or daughter to benefit from them. The strategy involves the use of a spendthrift trust.
If you're planning your estate, you may be doing it more for your loved ones than anyone else. Although you will benefit from having a power of attorney in place for your health care and financial concerns in the event of your unexpected incapacitation, a sound and well-thought out estate plan will be of great benefit to your family members after you're gone -- especially in terms of the probate process.
The idea that someone would pass away without a will is not very far-fetched. In some cases, especially when the decedent's estate doesn't have a lot of personal assets or only has one or two potential heirs, legal proceedings for an estate without a will concludes without a hitch. In other cases, when the decedent's estate is large and includes many potential creditors and heirs, the estate can be complicated and time-consuming to resolve.