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What You Need to Know About Estate Planning in Rhode Island

Gene Kirzhner Dec. 31, 2019

One of the first things you learn as an attorney is that every state is unique. From the way they handle crimes to the way they give out fines, to marriage requirements and estate planning steps, these differences are important to take into account when doing anything legally. After all, how can you truly complete anything ‘by the books’ if you don’t know what those books say?

With this said, below are some of the most important things to take into account when estate planning in the state of Rhode Island. By reviewing these facts before moving forward, you can ensure that you are doing everything right and save yourself a world of trouble in the long-run.

There Is a Difference Between Durable Power of Attorneys and Living Wills in Rhode Island

If you are planning on incorporating medical care into your estate planning, it is essential to note the differences between a durable power of attorney and a living will. A durable power of attorney grants someone the power and responsibility of making your healthcare decisions while a living will allow you to make the decisions on your own.

A durable power of attorney is best for those that can’t make decisions on their own, would rather entrust them to someone else, or are simply too overwhelmed by everything else to look into every decision before making it. However, if you are still self-sufficient, your best bet may be a living will, as you get to control your future from the driver’s seat rather than ‘being along for the ride,’ so to speak.

You Will Need to Choose Beneficiaries

One of the things people find rather difficult when estate planning is choosing their beneficiaries. After all, the bigger your family is, the more you may want to split up your life insurance policy, retirement accounts, and/or pension. Although it may seem difficult, the best way to handle this process is to be completely unbiased in your decision. The individuals you should choose shouldn’t be family favorites or friends, but rather, those that would suffer the most financially from your passing. This typically includes children, spouses, and very close relatives.

Asset Protection Before Estate Planning May Be Beneficial

According to Justia, “Asset protection planning is a method used to shield assets that would otherwise be susceptible to legal judgments or claims by creditors or former spouses. A number of legal devices exist to ensure that both personal and business assets remain in possession of the asset-holder.” This method is often used by those estate planning to ensure that their possessions are protected. You must research what items are exempt in your state and be sure to only protect the ones you care most about before you begin the estate planning process.

There Is a Specific Process to Setting up Trusts

There are several steps involved in setting up a trust. If you forget to complete certain steps, you won’t be able to move forward, which is one of the reasons that an estate planning attorney is ideal. Essentially, the process consists of creating the trust agreement, funding the trust, and putting the pieces mentioned above together. The process can take anywhere between a few days and a few weeks, depending on who is compiling the information for you. If you hire a lawyer, it will take far less time.

Working with A Local Estate Planning Attorney Will Significantly Help You

Although you may still feel self-sufficient and able to take on the world, it never hurts to have a helping hand. The best piece of advice regarding estate planning that can be given is to find a qualified attorney to help you from the start. What would likely take you weeks could take them days and speed up your estate planning process with ease. If you are looking for this kind of representation in Rhode Island, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Howe and Garside today! We know all of the local tips and tricks and can help you in a flash!