Estate Planning

Estate planning involves the will, trusts, beneficiary designations, powers of appointment, property ownership (joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety), gift, and powers of attorney, specifically the durable financial power of attorney and the durable medical power of attorney. After widespread litigation and media coverage surrounding the Terri Schiavo case, virtually all estate planning attorneys now advise clients to also create a living will.
Many people (and even some attorneys) confuse a living will with a durable medical power of attorney. A living will sets out directives concerning end of life decisions, whereas a durable power of attorney gives all medical decision making authority to an appointed individual upon incapacity, including end of life decisions. Some people have both a living will and a health care power of attorney. Some, who wish to give complete discretion to a loved one, including end of life decision, have only a health care power of attorney.

Trusts
A trust is an arrangement whereby property (including real, tangible and intangible) is managed by one person (or persons, or organizations) for the benefit of another.  A trust is created by a settlor, who entrusts some or all of his or her property to people of his choice (the trustees).  The trustees hold legal title to the trust property (or trust corpus), but they are obliged to hold the property for the benefit of one or more individuals or organizations (the beneficiary), usually specified by the settlor, who hold equitable title. The trustees owe a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries, who are the "beneficial" owners of the trust property.
The trust is governed by the terms of the trust document, which is usually written and occasionally set out in deed form.  It is also governed by local law.  The trustee is obliged to administer the trust in accordance with both the terms of the trust document and the governing law.

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Law Offices of Joseph J. Voccola, Esq.

454 Broadway
Providence, RI 02909
Phone: 401-751-3900
Fax: 401-751-8983
Email: joevoccola@joevoccolalawoffices.com

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Joseph J. Voccola, Esq. Joseph J. Voccola, Esq. brief bio.
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