What is Estate Planning?
An estate plan is an arrangement of your assets “stuff” using the laws to gain maximum financial benefit for you and your loved ones during your lifetime and after your death. A properly prepared estate plan protects your stuff while you are alive for your benefit and ensures that your stuff gets to the people you love (or organizations you care about), when you want, the way you want in the most efficient and cost effective manner.
Do You Need an Estate Plan?
Yes, we believe everyone should have a will, health care proxy and durable power of attorney.
Every adult needs estate planning! The only question is what type of plan is right for you. The goal is to protect whatever stuff you have for you during your lifetime and for those you love when you are no longer alive. Most confusion in estate planning comes from deciding what level of planning is right for you?
Proper estate planning contains the necessary legal documents that keep you in control of your stuff as long as you are able and to put people you trust in control when you are no longer able, with sufficient instructions, to guide them on how to use your stuff for your benefit or the benefits of others. Further, a proper estate plan will also control the timing of when someone will benefit. If you become disabled, you will want to ensure your needs are protected and your loved ones are provided for as well. Upon your death you determine who benefits and who controls your stuff. After your death it becomes harder because other parties, i.e. the government, new spouses, predators or creditors can attempt to gain access to your stuff. There are also various options that can be utilized in your estate plan to reduce or eliminate estate taxes.
Only a highly qualified estate planning lawyer can accomplish this! Your estate plan can even contain provisions to permit your loved ones to inherit in a manner that provides them with full use and access to your stuff without being accessible to their spouses in divorce, nursing homes, lawsuits, or other predators. So whether you have $50,000.00 or $1,000,000.00 (or more) you have worked hard for it. Proper estate planning ensures your stuff is available for you until your death and ensures it gets to your loved ones when you are gone.