Do You Have a Living Trust?
You know what you want to become of your assets. You have an estate plan in place that reflects those wishes. And, so long as everyone follows the law, your assets are safe and your wishes will be carried out.
What have you done to protect your assets? What have you done to protect your plan?
Illuminote wants to help. Begin here with a few simple steps you can take to protect your assets and your estate plan.
Secure Your Estate Plan
Do your kids, your friends, or your beneficiaries know who your estate planning attorney is? Has your estate planning attorney met them? How about your financial planner? All of these people want what is best for you--they should know who each other are. A few simple introductions can go a long way to deterring fraud and undue influence in the future.
Do Not Hide Your Plan
The details of your estate plan are yours alone, to share or not share with whomever you will. However, the fact that you have a plan and keep it in a known location should not be a secret. The people in your life should know you have a plan and where they can find it in case of an emergency. Even if you don't register it on ASTA, put this document in a safe place where someone knows where it is and how to get it.
Register Your Assets
If you use a living trust in your plan, you should register your assets to the trust. Is it easier to simply designate beneficiaries of your accounts? Yes. But that is a double-edged sword. It is also easier to engage in fraud and undue influence with a simple account. Registering it to your trust provides an additional layer that, while not a perfect defense, will dissuade shenanigans from simple opportunists.