By Prof Sergio Guerrero Rosas
Throughout our professional life, we see many instances where people consider having a will or a trust is enough to ensure solid estate planning. However, there are certain items that we must take care of and take into account to guarantee the adequate protection of our fixed assets and belongings, and to ensure that succession and the transfer of assets are carried out exactly according to our wishes and that taxes are optimized to the maximum. In order to achieve this, it is important that our estate planning considers and contains at least the following items:
A family is never exempt from litigation or bad business decisions that could put its assets at risk. The trust is presented as the essential legal figure when it comes to protecting the heritage that it has managed to accumulate with so much effort over the years.
The trust establishes how the trustee (of your choice) is to handle your assets once they are received through your will, in order to fulfill the conditions and purposes of the trust. It is also important to consider who will be the designated beneficiaries of the trust.
For many people, a will is the first thing they think of when making an estate plan. This document sets out your will as to who will receive what assets after your death. It should also state other wishes, such as who will care for young children if both parents die. Dying without a will represents a risk for your relatives and assets.
- POWER OF ATTORNEY
In the event that you are unable to make your own decisions, a power of attorney gives someone else permission to make decisions on your behalf. When assigning someone a power of attorney, you must be sure that he or she will try to act in your best interest. You can give a medical, legal or financial power of attorney to the same person or to different people.
- BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS
These designations are generally described in life insurance policies and retirement accounts and designate who receives the funds and payments in the event of your death.
- HEALTHCARE DIRECTIVES
While decisions about your healthcare are made by the person who has medical power of attorney, you may establish certain healthcare directives that serve as a medical will in the event you become unable to make decisions on your own behalf.
Estate planning should not be taken lightly, as it is, in essence, the process of anticipating, planning and coordinating the distribution and protection of your assets after your death or in the event of your incapacity. The only way you can ensure that your will is carried out in accordance with your wishes is with good estate planning.