If you don’t have an estate plan yet, you absolutely should. An estate plan is a legal strategy that addresses how your money and other assets will be distributed upon your death. Deciding these matters ahead of time is the best thing for you and your heirs. At Royal Legal Solutions, we are aware of the unique needs of the real estate investor and take care to address these when creating your personalized estate plan.
How Do The Parts of an Estate Plan Work?
Estate Planning for real estate investors with less than the Federal Estate tax thresholds (currently approximately $5.5 million) consists of two core components: a Living Trust and a Pour Over Will. We take a slightly different strategy for investors above the threshold, who will have additional considerations and special concerns.
The Living Trust will have ultimate ownership and control over all of your assets and companies. The Living Trust allows for the control of the assets to immediately pass to the designated heir, as opposed to getting caught up in probate court by passing through an ordinary will. With this method, you can breathe easy knowing that mortgage payments are made, rents are collected, insurance premiums are paid, etc. The Living Trust ensures that your property is not lost or diminished in value, which are both highly likely occurrences if the properties are caught in probate court. The Pour Over Will essentially states that anything that was not put into the Living Trust during your lifetime is “poured” into the Trust and distributed accordingly to the beneficiaries (your heirs). These tools work together to ensure a seamless business transition that carries on your legacy as quickly and simply as the law allows.
Have you ever considered what would happen if you were in an accident and couldn’t do the things you need to do for your real estate investments? A person needs to be there to collect rent, make payments, and otherwise manage real estate investments. Royal Legal Solutions can also assist you with power of attorney documents, including both medical and durable power of attorney. These documents allow you to make provisions for what would happen if you’re ever unable to make decisions for yourself. When you let Royal Legal Solutions help you with power of attorney documents, you get to call the shots ahead of time in the event of an emergency. When you grant someone medical power of attorney, you’re giving them permission to make medical decisions for you if you become incapable of doing so. We can also help you with durable power of attorney, which lets you designate someone to manage your investments and financial affairs in the unfortunate event of an accident or severe, debilitating illness.
Who Needs an Estate Plan and Why Are They Important?
The fact that you are reading this at all is a good indicator that you should have an estate plan, if only because you have a pulse. Presumably, you also have loved ones that you would like to provide for even when you are no longer here. Everyone should have an estate plan, but there are some factors that make it even more important for certain individuals. If you have children, an estate plan is essential for ensuring they receive what you want them to upon your death. Real estate investors will also have more assets to divide up than a typical non-investor, and therefore an estate plan is crucial for managing your investments, debts, and profits when you are no longer able to.
If you’re still not convinced of the importance of estate planning, consider what happens when someone dies without any advanced preparations, such as a will. Even an ambiguous will, such as one written by you but not reviewed by an attorney, can create problems. What typically happens in these cases is that the state distributes up your valuables and funds as they see fit. Almost everyone has someone who could benefit from their assets, or at least a charitable cause closer to your heart than the United States government. In truly nightmarish cases, such as the high-profile death of pop star Prince, family members and heirs receive nothing while accountants, lawyers, and Uncle Sam duke it out in probate court. Of course, all of those parties are paid first, not the heirs. Years can pass while heirs wait for a decision, and there’s no guarantee that a judge will rule to their benefit. Simply put, a death is already a tragedy for loved ones of the deceased. This tragedy is compounded and complicated when there is no clear estate plan. A will alone is not an estate plan, but more of a guarantee that your family will end up in Probate Court, where some cases languish for years. Having an estate plan is the kindest thing to do for those who will survive you, and the smartest way to ensure that your business continues to thrive.
Why You Should Choose Royal Legal Solutions For Your Estate Planning
Our clients are real estate investors like you. In fact, our attorneys are investors themselves. We specialize in how the Living Trust and Pour Over Will should be used specifically for the real estate investor. Attempting to create a will or trust without the assistance of an attorney is generally not a good idea. With documents this important to your family and loved ones, you want professional help. Our attorneys will take the time to assess your needs and create a comprehensive estate plan that takes many factors into consideration: the value of the estate, the complete list of assets, corporate structures you may be using, the identity and personal situations of your heirs, and more.
Contact Royal Legal Solutions today if you have any questions about estate planning. We will review your personal circumstances and help execute the best strategy for you, your business, and your heirs.