Many people neglect to create an estate plan because they see it as the proverbial elephant...too big, too complex. But if you approach estate planning in a systematic fashion, it takes the complexity right out of it – especially with the help of a knowledgeable Personal Family Lawyer.
Here are some tips on how you can reduce the complexity in creating an estate plan, from a recent Fox Business article:
Add up your assets. Take into account your retirement accounts, life insurance, potential inheritance, savings, property ownership, etc.
Consider trusts. Trusts are simply vehicles for protecting your assets from creditors – yours or your heirs – and from potential future ex-spouses. They are also a great mechanism for maintaining your privacy and allowing your assets to pass to your heirs without the expense and hassle of probate, which can tie up assets for a year or more. And they also help you and your heirs avoid estate taxes.
Think about whom you trust to act as your agent(s). You will need to appoint a person or persons to act as your agent through a power of attorney in case you are unable to make those decisions yourself, in the case you become incapacitated or have a terminal illness. This applies for health care decisions as well as financial oversight.
Realize what a will can and cannot do for you. A will is the cornerstone of your estate plan, giving you the legal power to pass along assets and property to heirs as well as name a guardian for minor children and appoint the people you need to carry out your wishes after you are gone – i.e., who will administer your estate and who will safeguard your assets for minor children.
If you would like to have a talk about estate planning, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $750 for a Family Wealth Planning Session, but because this planning is so important, I’ve made space for the next two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Contact Us today and mention this article.