Should I Consider a Living Trust?

A living trust is almost required in some states and is less valuable in others. In states where probate is particularly arduous or particularly expensive, a living trust is a valuable tool that allows you to avoid probate (if the trust is managed properly during life). In Georgia, probate fees are reasonable and the process is not overly difficult, so a living trust is a very personal decision. Reasons why you might consider a living trust are to avoid probate; to gain privacy as probate proceedings are public record; to simplify administration; and to hold assets such as real estate owned in states other than Georgia.

Are there Downsides to a Living Trust?

The primary difficulty we see with living trusts is people not keeping them funded properly. If you pass away with even one asset outside the trust, then we will have to probate your estate AND administer your trust. If you are older and your assets are settled, this is less of a concern. But if you are younger and still growing your assets, moving around, etc., it can be problematic.

Why do I need a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney will allow someone to help you with financial transactions in the event you can no longer help yourself (but are still alive).  A common scenario is if you suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Your appointed agent can pay bills on your behalf, deal with Social Security on your behalf, pay medical providers on your behalf, etc. In terms of life and disability planning, the power of attorney is arguably the most important document in your estate plan.

What is a Healthcare Directive?

The Georgia Healthcare Directive has two parts (four really, but two worth talking about here): the durable power of attorney for healthcare and the living will. The durable power of attorney is the person you appoint that can make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot make them for yourself. They can consent to medications and surgeries, admit you to hospitals, etc.

The living will component of the healthcare directive tells your family your wishes should you be terminally ill and unable to communicate and are being kept alive by machines. This decision is often called the “pull the plug” decision. It is not pleasant to think about, but these are instructions your family will absolutely need should they face an end of life decision on your behalf.

What is Rev Capital, LLC?

Rev Capital, LLC, is a ‘fee only’ investment advisory firm run by Andrew Riddle and Bill Downey. Rev Capital, LLC, does not sell products and does not take commissions. We build portfolios for clients from stocks, bonds, and ETFs and charge a very low annual asset management fee. If the accounts don’t grow in value, we can’t make more money. Our interests are completely aligned with our clients and our clients will never feel the pressure to buy anything. No annuities. No mutual funds. No variable life insurance policies. Just real investment expertise.

Do I have to work with Rev Capital, LLC, to hire Riddle Law Group, LLC, to draft my estate plan?

Of course not! In fact, most Riddle Law Group, LLC, estate planning clients are not Rev Capital, LLC, clients at all. We don’t care who you work with for financial advice or whether you work with anyone. We will do all we can to deliver a comprehensive and practical estate plan.

If you are interested in learning more about Rev Capital, LLC, we are always happy to provide a free consultation in a separate meeting. But when you call on the Riddle Law Group, LLC, for an estate plan, that service is our only focus.

Can I leave my IRA to my estate?

Yes, but you must consider the tax implications. If you simply change the beneficiary designations in your IRA to your estate, that will send the money where you wanted it to go in your will.  However, it will also cause all of the income tax you’ve yet to pay on the IRA funds to come immediately due, which is likely to be very expensive. In general, leaving your IRA directly to your estate is a decision that should be made only after consulting a CPA or lawyer or both.

Does the Riddle Law Group, LLC, handle medicare or veterans benefit planning?

No, but attorneys in our office do so give us a call at 678-905-3032 and we will get you connected with attorneys that can help you.