Each May, the Office of Planned Giving presents Wills Week for MUSC employees. Throughout the week, we invite local estate planning attorneys to teach a seminar on basic estate planning. For those who could not attend, we are sharing the four most popular questions asked over the course of Wills Week:
In my will or trust, should I divide my assets to beneficiaries using percentages or specific amounts?
Percentages are far more flexible because their value will fluctuate as your assets change over time.
I want my children to receive my assets, but I’m afraid of them getting everything in one lump sum all at the same time. How can I make sure that doesn’t happen?
Lots of planning in a trust. With a trust, you have the ability to choose the age they will receive the assets or plan out how they will receive small distributions of them over time. You definitely are going to want to designate this in writing, and a trust allows you to be more specific than a simple will.
Do you have advice on who I should choose as my personal representative?
Always choose someone you trust. I like to have backups too in case the first person you choose predeceases you. You can also name co-personal representatives so that two or three people work together to distribute assets instead of leaving the responsibility in the hands of only one person.
What about my pets?
Plan for your pets, whether you put that in your will or create a trust. It is not uncommon that clients name a guardian and set aside funds to make sure their furry friends are taken care of. I advise you to talk with your family or friends so they are aware of your wishes and are prepared.
Learn more on estate planning.
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