Not sure what we should set up wills, living trust etc.

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Not sure what we should set up wills, living trust etc.

My husband is 52 and I am 51 years old. We think we should have at least a will set up incase anything were to to happen to us. We have 3 kids, 24, 19 and 9 years old. What is your advise?

Asked on January 12, 2017 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A living trust takes property out of your control NOW. It is a good idea if you have surplus assets that you want to start helping your children now, before you pass, but not a good option otherwise.
You should however have a will: the will can leave money or assets outright to the 24 year old; leave something outright to the 19-year old, but also set up a "testamentary" trust (one that comes only into existence when you pass away) to use other monies for the 19-year old's education or medical care, and to generally care for the 9-year old, while also designating a guardian for the 9-year old. That's just one example, but generally, whatever instructions you'd have for the use of you money or for how your children (especally the youngest) will be taken care of  after you pass away can be accomplished by will. The best thing to do is to consult with an attorney who handles trusts and estates work: the lawyer can make sure that the will is properly drawn up to *exactly* reflect your goals and intentions.


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