Securing Your Dental Legacy: A Comprehensive Guide to Wills and Trusts

Summary:

Discover the importance of estate planning for dentists. Learn about wills and trusts, and how to use them effectively for wealth transfer and probate avoidance.

The foundations of your rock-solid estate plan

As a dentist, you've dedicated your life to taking care of others. But have you considered how to take care of your family and your hard-earned wealth when you're no longer around? Estate planning, particularly focusing on wills and trusts, is the foundation of a rock-solid plan for your assets.

The Importance of Estate Planning for Dentists

For many dentists, family is paramount. You've probably used your wealth to provide for your family in the present—covering health care costs, travel expenses, and college tuition. However, positioning your assets to continue supporting your loved ones after your demise might not have received as much thought. If your estate plan is outdated or non-existent, don't fret. By focusing on two main areas of estate planning—wills and trusts—you can get on track.

The Power of a Will

Let's make this clear: Every dentist should have a will. A will forms the basic foundation of every estate plan and is the starting point for a well-conceived strategy to transfer assets at death.

A will precisely outlines your wishes for your assets and estate. Dying without a will means leaving the state to decide what's best for your family. Moreover, it can make the settling of your estate more difficult, costly, and public.

While there are both positives and negatives to a will, the benefits of writing a will far outweigh the drawbacks. With a will, you decide on the disposition of your hard-earned wealth, mitigate estate taxes—especially when the will is part of a broader estate plan—and specify who the fiduciaries will be.

Trust in Trusts

The second component of a smart estate plan is often a trust. A trust is a means of transferring property to a third party—the trust. Specifically, a trust lets you transfer the title of your assets to trustees for the benefit of your selected beneficiaries. The trustee will carry out your wishes on behalf of your beneficiaries.

There are two types of trusts: living (established while you are alive) and testamentary (created by your will after you’ve passed). Living trusts are becoming increasingly popular to avoid the cost of probate.

A living trust can avoid or mitigate the effects of probate. It is a revocable trust that you establish and of which you are also typically the sole trustee. The assets in your living trust avoid probate at death and are instead distributed to your heirs according to your wishes.

Living trusts are sometimes said to be superior to a will, but that is certainly not the case for everyone. It’s important that you understand how they compare.

Comparing Wills and Living Trusts

Is a living trust for you? It depends on your particular situation. Nevertheless, you should certainly consider it in consultation with your advisor or wealth manager.

Your Next Move

We recommend that your estate plan be reviewed every year or two. The review should be conducted by a high-caliber wealth manager or tax professional—one who takes the time to learn what’s changed since you put your solutions in place, assess how those changes might impact your strategy, and make recommendations for getting your solutions current and in accordance with your wishes.

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This material is intended to be used for educational purposes and does not constitute a solicitation to purchase a security or investment advisory services. Some material on this site has been researched and prepared by BSW Inner Circle and its affiliates, CEG Worldwide, LLC and AES Nation, LLC. Timothy J McNeely has retained AES Nation to conduct research and prepare informational materials for his use. Mr. McNeely is a member of CEG Roundtable and pays an annual fee for these services. Mr. McNeely is involved in these activities through The LifeStone Companies.

Some materials is published by the VFO Inner Circle, a global financial concierge group working with affluent individuals and families and is distributed with its permission. Copyright by AES Nation, LLC. This report is intended to be used for educational purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation to purchase any security or advisory services. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. An investment in any security involves significant risks and any investment may lose value. Refer to all risk disclosures related to each security product carefully before investing..

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