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Estate Planning 101

Estate Planning 101

Estate Planning 101

One of the most important things you can do throughout your life is hold the power to make decisions, even after death. Assets are a large part of estate planning, so knowing why you need it, choosing the right trust option and knowing what you need are essential. To help, we give you an insight into estate planning 101.

Why you need estate planning

Estate planning is more than a will and involves protecting your assets, such as any savings, stocks, retirement funds and more. To better understand what estate planning is, you should know the four main components. These components consist of: the trustmaker or donor, the benefactor, the successor trustee and the assets themselves, including money or property. All of these components combined help the donor’s wishes come to life and are intended to reach maximum inheritance and distribute assets as such.

Choosing the right trust option

So how do you know which trust option is right for you? The answer is complex in that there are multiple types of trusts to choose from. Take for example testamentary trusts, special needs and charities. With a testamentary plan, the ball is in your hands as far as who will inherit your assets whereas a lifetime plan allocates the health and financial decision-makers for you should you become incapacitated. A special needs trust allows you to continue to receive SSI government benefits while still enlisting in receiving a trust fund. There is also a spendthrift trust where an independent trustee takes over the beneficiary funds. A living trust simply allows you to control and move assets as long as you are living or become incapacitated. A lawyer specializing in estate planning can better help you choose the right trust.

What you need to know

Wills and trusts go hand in hand and will work in your favor to potentially build a revocable living trust, where in case of a death situation, the contingent beneficiaries will be determined. Any joint assets, retirement benefits and life insurance go towards the beneficiary. However, you will want to make sure you choose someone for your will other than your spouse as there are vital medical and health decisions to be made. The directive medical and financial power of attorney can better prepare you for all types of sudden life mishaps. Additionally, you will want to make sure you look at your state’s estate tax as some are subject to probate which identifies the deceased final assets and counts as an extra fee.

Mestayer & Associates provides civil litigation for clients throughout the Gulf Coast area including Pascagoula, Biloxi and Gulfport. If you are making future plans for your estate, then contact us today and let us help take care of every detail of your finances. Call us today at 228-762-1193 or visit We are your legal experts! You can also visit our office located at 2128 Ingalls Ave. in Pascagoula, Mississippi. We look forward to talking with you!

No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

This article does not create an attorney-client relationship. I am licensed to practice law in Mississippi and have based the information presented on US laws. This article is legal information and is for entertainment and informational purposes only and should not be seen as legal advice. You should consult with an attorney before you rely on this information. Any information provided in this blog is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge, but that there may be omissions, errors or mistakes.

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