It’s my job to use whatever tools will best get the job done for the client. What will work best to build the plan the client wants?
Although it’s not the client’s job to understand all the tools that we use in the plan, most clients end up with a basic understanding of how a living trust works by the time we are done designing the plan.
Living Trust – not just to avoid probate
In most plans, a living trust is the most useful tool to accomplish a lot of important goals. The living trust does help a client avoid probate, if used properly. This has been a big focus over the years by both attorneys and clients. But that’s only the beginning.
Disability Planning: Don’t settle for a “blank check” power of attorney
The living trust is also the best vehicle to help do detailed disability planning. Powers of Attorney typically give a power as a “blank check” with no guidance, but a living trust is different. A living trust allows you to do disability planning that gives a lot of details about how you want to be cared for, who will manage the funds while you are disabled, who can they spend money on during your disability, and who decides whether you are disabled in the first place. The power of attorney simply grants raw power without much guidance about how to use it. A living trust grants similar power but then can give lots of guidance, procedures, preferences, and instructions to be used by those managing your money when you are too sick to do it.
The goal of disability planning within a living trust is to have you and your family cared for during your disability in the same way you would have done it yourself, if you had been able.