Your estate is comprised of everything you own – your home, car, bank accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, personal possessions, and more. No matter how modest or large, everyone can benefit from estate planning to control how these things are given to the people or charities you care the most about upon your passing.
Creating a plan in advance to control our estate is important – but can fail if you do not have proper documents in place. Certain documents are crucial during your lifetime to provide decisions should you become incapacitated. Other documents ensure that your final wishes are carried out – and most likely you would like this to happen with the least amount paid in taxes, legal fees, and court costs.
Some of the most common estate planning solutions we prepare are:
A living trust creates an entity of which you are the trustor, trustee, and beneficiary. It is created for the lifetime management of your assets as well as direction for the division and distribution of your estate. The trust holds legal title to your assets of which you maintain full control. Different types of trusts can help avoid probate, reduce estate taxes, maintain privacy of your estate, or establish long-term property management.
Last Will & Testament
A Last Will & Testament is a document that provides all of the essential details of who will inherit your assets, when and how they will inherit it, and who is in charge of settling your affairs. Additionally if you have minor children, this will also cover who will serve as a guardian to your children until they become adults.
A power-of-attorney is a document that allows you to appoint an individual or organization as agent to handle your financial, healthcare, and mental healthcare affairs should you be incapacitated or unable to do so.
A living will communicates your wishes regarding life prolonging medical treatments. This document is important, as it informs your family and health care providers about such medical treatments in the event you are unable to speak for yourself.