Estate Planning

Part of loving our family means creating a plan for our assets for their future. Whoever your loved ones are, please do not put off the process of planning. Estate planning is not simply creating a will, but rather a more complex process that requires an up-to-date legal understanding, awareness of your personal preferences, and understanding of shifting economic factors. When you plan your estate, the law should be working to protect your hard work and your family’s future.

Understand your situation and goals

In order to plan your estate, you must assess your current and future income, your assets, your debts, and the various tax implications for your unique situation. Then, you must decide how to use legal tools to best protect your assets and best provide for those you care about.

Employ the right Estate Planning vehicles

How much planning and what tools you use all depends on your priorities and assets. Below is an overview of some of the basic estate planning tools and how they should be used.

Wills are a legal outline of your wishes for your property and assets. This can include distribution of property, administration of your estate, and who will take care of your children. It is important to have an understanding of state requirements for proper will construction so that it will be able to be legally upheld. It is equally important to have a will that matches your wishes. Wills are subject to probate laws, or the state laws that protect and govern estate administration

Trusts are entities that can hold and protect your assets for your loved ones. As they are not subject to review in a Probate, they can be a less expensive and time-consuming option.

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Transfers of Death Assets are automatic transfers of assets, such as life insurance or a bank account, that allows you to name a beneficiary.

Financial, Medical, and Durable Powers of Attorney allow you to choose a representative to manage your interests should you become incapacitated. However, these powers must be granted carefully as there are great dangers to giving up control. Agents with financial power of attorney could, for example, use your bank account to pay your mortgage or collect Social Security. Still, there are many benefits to selecting an agent to handle your affairs under the right circumstances. Agents with medical power of attorney could discuss your medical history and records with doctors and make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to. An agent with durable powers of attorney can still legally represent you, should you become incapacitated.

Estate Tax Plans ensure that taxes an estate can accrue are taken into account. These taxes are commonly misunderstood, yet easy to prepare for with a little local legal knowledge.  

I Can Help You Plan the Ideal Future

My clients are my friends—I will work with you and your situation to create the right set of tools to protect your estate for your loved ones. My first priority is you and working with you to navigate constructing sound legal tools that best suit your needs. Check out this estate planning checklist to help get the process started.

There’s No Better Time Than Now to Protect Your Family

The entire purpose of estate planning is to secure your wishes in advance, so do not wait until it is too late. Many assume the process will be cumbersome or depressing, but I often find that it gives my clients peace of mind. The sooner you start, the sooner it will be off your to-do list for the future. Furthermore, starting early allows you to form your desires without rush. Schedule your free consultation below to begin the process today.