People sometimes have a hard time pinning down exactly what estate planning is and what it does. We take a fairly broad view.
Our goal is to help you find your dream life. For you...and your family.
An estate plan forms the legal foundation supporting the three most important things in life: your health, your family, and your assets. The right planning gives you the confidence that you will be able to deal with whatever happens along the way.
What An Estate Plan Can Do For You?
Before coming to our office, many of our clients knew they needed an estate plan. But they didn't know precisely why it was important or what it would do for them and their families. So let's start there. Why is an estate plan important? What can it do to help you and your family?
When you design your own estate plan, you can:
• Choose the people who you want to help you in various roles (we call them "helpers"). Your estate plan helpers include:
1) Property agents can manage your property and affairs if you become incapacitated
2) Health care agents can make your health care decisions if you become incapacitated
3) Guardians will care for your minor children if you're not able to
4) Executors manage the administration of your estate in Probate Court
5) Trustees manage the administration of your living trust when you pass away
• Decide who will receive your money and assets when you die and how they will receive it
• Keep your estate out of probate — a very public, inflexible, and often expensive court process
• Protect the inheritance you leave to your spouse or children from divorce, creditors, and lawsuits
• Leave money or assets to a special needs relative without ruining their eligibility for benefits programs
• Make sure that the inheritance you leave your spouse or children stays within your bloodline and won't be lost by a later remarriage
• Maximize the amount you can pass on to your children without paying estate taxes
While this list only scratches the surface, it gives you an idea of the impact that an estate plan can have on your family.