Everyone’s estate plan is unique to his or her specific desires and needs. Some of the many considerations for your Trust and Will are:
1) What are the federal estate tax ramifications of the terms of my Trust and Will;
2) What powers should I give to my trustee and executor;
3) How can I leave a child who receives governmental assistance an inheritance without disqualifying the child from such assistance, if at all;
4) In what situations can I delay distribution to a beneficiary, if any;
5) Can my Trust be the beneficiary of my qualified retirement plan;
6) What, if any, “no contest provisions” should be included;
7) What is the difference between “per stirpes” and “per capita”;
8) Will the spouses of my children inherit the child’s share if my child predeceases me;
9) What does “lapse” mean;
10) What is the difference between an “option to buy” and a “right of first refusal”;
11) What is the rule against perpetuities and how do I satisfy it, and
12) Should a HIPAA release be included in my Trust or Will.
One of the best analogies to this situation is a medical prescription pad: just because you have a valid medical prescription pad, that does not mean you should be writing prescriptions. The same is true in the legal profession: just because you have a standard, generic legal Trust or Will form, that does not mean you should complete it in an attempt to meet your individual estate planning needs.