Trusts & Estates

Secure Your Legacy

Trusts & Estates

Secure Your Legacy

Creating an estate plan can seem like a daunting task – it is uncomfortable to make plans for your own death, and it can seem overwhelming to address every aspect and plan for every contingency. However, once a plan is in place, it can be a relief to know your assets are protected. And, with the guidance of an estate planning attorney, the process is less intimidating. Regardless of the size, value, or complexity of your estate, you should have an estate plan. Proper planning ensures that your wishes are accurately honored and your property passes to the individuals and organizations of your choice.


Where to begin:

  • 1.) Start by listing all your assets

    It may help to think in terms of categories: real property, investment property, business ownership interests, IRA accounts, bank accounts, life insurance policies, annuities, etc. This list will help your Attorney determine the total value of your estate and any tax implications.

  • 2.) Gather beneficiary designations

    Some accounts – like IRAs, life insurance policies, annuities, or bank accounts – pass upon your death not according to your estate plan, but to a designated beneficiary listed specifically for that asset. It is particularly important to review these designations when creating or changing your estate plan to ensure your assets are handled according to your wishes.

  • 3. ) Know generally what your goals are and who you want to leave property to

    List the goals you want to accomplish in your estate plan. Don’t worry about trying to assign a beneficiary to every single asset. Instead, think about the big picture. Your attorney will help you piece together your assets to the right beneficiaries in a way that will minimize tax consequences and fulfill your goals.

  • 4.) Consider who you want to serve as executor

    The executor is the person or entity responsible for carrying out the directions of your will. Serving as someone’s executor can be both an honor and a burden. You may select an individual (such as a family member) or a corporate executor (such as Hills Bank) to carry out your wishes. You may also select co-executors to serve jointly.

    Individual vs Corporate Executor

Understanding Trusts

A trust is a legal document that is used in estate planning. Generally speaking, trusts can usually be divided into two categories: revocable and irrevocable.

We have expertise in administering personal trusts and estates. You may want to consider naming Hills Bank as your estate’s executor, relieving family members of additional responsibilities during a difficult time.

Revocable Trusts

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Irrevocable Trusts

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Contact us online or call a Hills Bank Investment Professional today to set up a no-charge consultation.

Please note that neither Hills Bank nor the Hills Bank Trust and Wealth Management Department provide tax or legal advice. You should always consult an attorney along with a tax professional to determine how to prepare the best estate plan for your situation. Investment products are not a deposit, not FDIC insured, not insured by any federal government agency, carry no bank guarantee, and may go down in value.