WHO NEEDS ESTATE PLANNING?
The facts… Estate planning isn’t about how much money you have, it’s about protecting what you have for you, during your lifetime and for those you love after you’re gone. It ensures what you have gets to the people you love, the way you want, when you want.
If you were to die today, are you comfortable everything will be taken care of the way you wanted? Estate planning is legally ensuring things will be handled the way you want by providing sufficient instructions.
Estate Planning really is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you have $40,000 or $400,000. You still have to plan for the future. Whether it’s to name a guardian for your minor children or ensure your children don’t blow through your assets if you unexpectedly die or become disabled (Terri Schiavo case).
Estate planning can only be done by attorneys, and it can be as simple as a Will, Health Care Documents, Living Will and Power of Attorney. It can also include a revocable, probate-avoidance trust, asset protection trusts, multi-generational tax-saving trusts, tax-saving charitable trusts, private family foundations, and many other fact-specific strategies.
KEEPING YOUR ESTATE PLAN CURRENT…
Once completed, your estate plan should be reviewed and kept current with life events such as the birth, death, marriage or divorce of anyone included in your plan. In addition, you should review your plan if there is a significant increase or decrease in your finances or if the laws related to your estate plan change.
We offer a maintenance program that provides you regular access to us to make sure your estate plan stays current with your wishes, family, finances and law.
LAST WILL & TESTAMENT…
The facts…If you own assets in your name alone, they may pass from you to the people you love, as long as you leave a Will. Without a Will, your assets pass according to the State’s rules, also known as intestacy. The State may not pass your assets to the people you care about. You should be sure.
Also, you should know that…
- Assets will pass through your Will to your loved ones if the Will is written properly.
- You can reduce your estate tax liability by using a trust in a Will.
- You can protect the ones you love by creating a trust in your Will which can protect that person from creditors.
- You can protect you.
It is important that you give your family the tools to help you if you cannot help yourself, your children from divorce, or you may protect your children who are not good with money, or those who have other problems, such as addiction or mental illness.
You can protect disabled beneficiaries by creating a Supplemental Needs Trust for them, which preserves assets for the family, while keeping their eligibility for public benefits.
Your Will must go through probate – using the courts to divide your property.