Estate Planning – What is It?

The best estate planning includes more than writing a Will.

If done properly, an estate plan organizes the distribution of your assets in a way that prevents family arguments or hefty attorney fees in the event you become incapacitated, or after your death.

Because doing it right can be a bit complicated – involving various kinds of Trusts, a Living Will, Powers of Attorney, and more – it’s best to consult a qualified attorney.

Do You Need an Estate Plan?

An estate plan is a map, illustrating clearly how you want your personal and financial affairs to be handled in case of incapacity or death. Therefore, to guarantee your wishes are carried out in all situations, the answer is “Yes, you need an estate plan.”

Remember that old saying “failing to plan is planning to fail”? Well, if you don’t create an estate plan – even it’s just a simple will –  the court system will take over after your death and decide who gets what.

It’s particularly urgent to have an estate plan if:

  • You want your financial matters to be private.
  • You have young children.
  • Your spouse isn’t capable of dealing with financial matters.
  • You own a business.
  • You have property in more than one state.

What is Involved?

Estate planning centers around two different activities: planning for incapacity and planning for death.

Planning for Incapacity

To minimize the risk to your family’s peace of mind in the case that you become incapacitated, it’s a good idea to write down exactly what your wishes are in terms of healthcare and asset management. This often involves creating Power of Attorney documents, Beneficiaries for your financial accounts, and a Living Will.

Planning for Death

If you die, you want things to run smoothly for all involved. In estate planning, some important items to consider are:

  • Life Insurance
  • Wills and Probate
  • Tax Planning
  • Trusts
  • Business Succession
  • Real Estate Distribution

Contact us today to begin a conversation about your estate planning.