Estate planning is important for everyone. Everyone has an estate, whether large or small. It does not matter if you think that what you have is not worth anything. It always has some type of value. Your estate is made up of everything you own— your home, other real estate, bank accounts, investment/retirement accounts, automobiles, life insurance, furniture, and personal possessions such as jewelry, silverware, or your dishes.
Estate planning serves several purposes. The concept of estate planning is to make a plan in advance of an incapacity or a death. Your estate plan ensures that your wishes are carried out during incapacity or after you have passed away. We can assist you to determine the best plan for you and your family.
Some of the basic documents that everyone should have include:
For more advanced estate plans, planning will need to incorporate strategies and documents that address specific concerns. Some of these concerns may be creditor protection for yourself or for your beneficiaries, future planning for Medicaid, or tax protections for your loved ones. Some of the documents used for advanced estate planning include:
A Last Will and Testament provides an expression of your wishes as to the disposition of your property after you have passed away.
A Revocable Trust is established to hold ownership of property for the Settlor, for the benefit of the Settlor, and passes property to the Beneficiaries at the death of the Settlor.
An Irrevocable Trust is a trust that cannot be terminated by the Settlor once it is established.
A Durable Power of Attorney is an instrument used to grant someone else the authority to act on your behalf for financial purposes.
A Health Care Surrogate is an instrument used to grant someone else the authority to act on your behalf for medical decisions.
A Living Will is your written instructions stating your decision for your life to not be artificially prolonged when there is no reasonable expectation of recovery from a medical condition.
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