You've spent a lifetime building up the assets and possessions you currently have. It's only natural to want to see them allocated in a manner than reflects your wishes and preferences. For many people, their last will or estate plan is also a way of leaving a lasting legacy. That could mean passing on the family home to someone whom you trust to live there, not to just sell it for money. It could also mean allocating more assets to one heir than others or leaving something for charity.
As you create your estate plan and prepare for the possibility that you could become incapacitated, you may choose to appoint a health care agent to make medical decisions on your behalf. This is an important decision that may greatly impact not only your own health and well-being, but also your estate and potentially the relationships between your loved ones.
Wills are important documents, and every legal adult should have one. However, wills do not have magical properties, and cannot generally supersede other areas of the law. As you consider your own will or possibly review it for accuracy, be sure to pay special attention to things that you should not include to avoid legal complications later on.
Choosing the person you want to serve as the trustee of your trust is an important decision that may impact your estate significantly, for better or for worse. In some cases, the relationship between you and the trustee may deteriorate, and you may realize it is time to consider firing him or her and looking for a suitable replacement. If you find yourself thinking about this course of action, it is always wise to take a deep breath and consider some valid reasons you may have for removing a trustee before it is too late.
Trusts offer protection from many threats to an estate, but this security often comes at the expense of flexibility and control of one's assets. In general, the greater control one retains over the assets he or she places in a trust, the fewer protections those assets enjoy. At some point, a trust creator may wish to change the terms of the trust, but this is not always possible.