Estate Planning

Why is planning for your estate a good idea? The answer is simple.

1. Everyone has assets that has some kind of value;

2. Sooner or later, everyone passes away;

3. Everyone would prefer that their family, friends, charities, or organizations of their choosing, get the most money and property with the least amount of hassle; and

4. Save money by minimize the amount of probate fees and time commitment it would take to go through probate during a time where your loved ones should be grieving.

Your estate is made up of everything you own— your home, other real estate, bank accounts, investment/retirement accounts, automobiles, life insurance, furniture, and personal possessions such as jewelry, silverware, or your dishes. Whether it is worth a Million Dollars or a Dollar, not planning correctly can have a costly consequence.

Estate Planning is important for everybody to do, whether you are just starting out and do not think you have a lot to will to anybody or whether you have millions of dollars with ledgers full of assets. There is value in what you own, and planning correctly will give you peace of mind knowing that what you have will be given to the people you want to get it after you pass away. Additionally, you want to determine who in your family receives an inheritance from and when, versus letting the State’s Laws determine who inherits.

Estate planning can involve more than what you want to happen with your estate after you pass away. There are important decisions and documents that can be drafted by your lawyer that designate somebody to make financial and health care decisions for you, instead of depending on a guardianship process through the Court in which the Judge decides who can make those decisions for you. It is imperative that you make those decisions in writing now while you have capacity, instead of waiting for an injury or illness to incapacitate you.

Schedule your 30 Minute Free Consultation Today with Attorney Michelle, to determine your needs!

 

Some of the basic documents that everyone should have include:

  • Revocable Trust (if needed)

  • Last Will and Testament

  • Durable Power of Attorney

  • Health Care Surrogate

  • Living Will

  • HIPAA Release

Wills

A Last Will and Testament provides an expression of your wishes as to the disposition of your property after you have passed away.

Revocable Trust

A Revocable Trust is established to hold ownership of property for the Settlor, for the benefit of the Settlor, and passes property to the Beneficiaries at the death of the Settlor.

Durable Power of Attorney

A Durable Power of Attorney is an instrument used to grant someone else the authority to act on your behalf for financial purposes.

Health Care Surrogate

A Health Care Surrogate is an instrument used to grant someone else the authority to act on your behalf for medical decisions.

Living Will

A Living Will is your written instructions stating your decision for your life to not be artificially prolonged when there is no reasonable expectation of recovery from a medical condition.

Other Planning Options

For more advanced estate plans, planning will need to incorporate strategies and documents that address specific concerns. Some of these concerns may be creditor protection for yourself or for your beneficiaries, future planning for Medicaid, or tax protections for your loved ones. Some of the documents used for advanced estate planning include:

  • Irrevocable Living Trusts.

  • Special Needs Trusts.

  • Pet Trusts.

  • Gun Trusts.

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