Publisher's Opinion-

October 2018 Edition
Protecting Your Assets

I am probably preaching to the choir here but several items in the news recently motivated me to write about the importance of having a will and why anyone with real estate assets should set up a real estate trust.
When a person passes and leaves no will, who decides what happens next? The surviving family members would be involved with a probate court hearing. The court would review all records and determine how assets would be divided. The court would also get its cut out of the estate. The expense of the probate court and attorneys hired to protect the family’s interest can be mind-boggling.
The loved ones left behind most likely have to elect someone to be the executor of the estate. In other words, someone will work with the courts to decide how to split up the assets and try to keep all parties happy. The only one that will be happy in this process is the tax man. Most of us know stories of families being ripped apart over disputes of valuables–and many times over the smallest things.
“But I wanted Fluffy!” type disputes leave families stressed out, and in plenty of cases, estranged from each other. “Bad Fluffy.” Any asset with any personal attachments should be spelled out in a will. Jewelry and pets have caused plenty of disputes. You think family members will get stressed out, think of how poor Fluffy feels.
Do you have a will and a plan for all of your valuables? Great! Now let’s talk about estate planning. You might include the disposition of your estate in the will but without a trust the courts will still be involved. This means time and money. A property trust is the smoothest way to transfer your estate to your loved ones and will eliminate tremendous stress from their time of mourning. Also, Fluffy will love you for it.
As real estate experts, knowing the basics of a real estate trust and how it can help your clients, can go a long way in earning their trust. Know how to protect them.
We are now working on our November Commercial Issue. In addition, we are well under way with our 2019 planning. If you are in your planning process, please keep us in mind. We will see you then.

by Roger Krieg
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