FAQ — Estate Planning
Outline for Your Personal Estate Planning Strategy
Here is an outline for people who are interested in planning their estate but are unsure where to begin.
I. Why Should I Create An Estate Plan?
- Ensure your intentions are met.
- Prevent disputes and ease decision-making for family members.
- Reduce stress for your family at a difficult time.
- Minimize or eliminate probate and other costs.
II. What to Consider
- Think about the arrangements you want for the care of your property, children, and pets.
- Consider who you want to leave your property to and who you trust to take care of your children.
- Establish formal agent relationships with the people you want to handle your personal care and property.
- Prepare the legal documents that express your preferences for health treatments and life-prolonging care.
III. Decisions and Documents
- A. Health Care Decisions:
- Advance Health Care Directive: Whether you are temporarily unconscious after an accident or slip into a coma after a long-term illness, these documents detail who can see your personal health care information, who can make health care decisions for you, and who can decide what, if any, life sustaining procedures are provided.
- Durable Power of Attorney: A document in which you appoint an agent to make health care and financial decisions for you when you are incapable of making them.
- B. Last Will and Testament: A will is a document in which you set out specific directions on who receives your property after your death. It also sets the terms for such gifts, names who you want to carry out your directives and names who will care for your dependents.
- C. Revocable Living Trust: A revocable living trust is a written agreement which creates an entity to handle the assets put into the trust. In that agreement, you identify:
- Who receives the benefit of the trust assets.
- Who will manage the trust assets.
- Terms for distributing and managing the trust assets
IV. Deciding Which Documents You Need
Consider your needs. You may only want to draft incapacity documents, or you may only want a will. If you own real estate, you may want to do all of them.
Some documents can be used to perform multiple purposes. Additionally, appointments of persons to perform similar or overlapping duties should be made so as to avoid conflict or confusion.
V. Let Us Help You
There is no charge for an initial consultation where we can decide what the best and most effective personal estate planning strategy you need!