Estate Planning

Preparing and Protecting Your Estate for Whatever the Future May Hold

Estate planning is an important area of law that helps prepare your assets so that they will be handled according to your wishes if you become incapacitated or when you pass away. When done properly, estate planning will help protect your assets so they will be there when you need them and maximize what you will be able to leave to your loved ones when the time comes. This includes protections from things like nursing home poverty, excessive estate and other taxes, and much more.

What Is in a Typical Estate Plan?

Every estate plan is going to be unique, but a typical estate plan for most people will include the following items:

  • Pour Over Will – A pour over will is your Last Will and Testament that covers a variety of different final instructions. What makes it a pour over type will is that it will declare that your estate should be distributed to the Trustee of a trust, from which it will then be handled according to your wishes. This can help ensure your estate doesn’t have to go through the probate courts.
  • Revocable Living Trust – A revocable living trust is an important tool that will determine what happens to your assets when you die. Since it is revocable, you will be able to make changes to it (and even cancel it) at any point up until your death.
  • Healthcare Power of Attorney – A health care Power of Attorney will be someone who makes all healthcare related decisions on your behalf should you become unable. They will have the final say on things like what treatments to receive and what medications you should be taking. Of course, they will work closely with your health care providers.
  • Financial Power of Attorney – A financial Power of Attorney is someone who you appoint to manage your financial decisions should you become unable. They will be responsible for paying bills, managing investments, filing your taxes, and much more.

These are the most common types of estate planning documents that most people will have in place. There are many other legal documents that are used in estate planning when they are needed for a specific situation. If you would like to get your estate plan started, or it is time to have an existing estate plan reviewed and revised, please contact us to schedule a consultation today.