Regardless of your age or the value of your assets, if you own anything or if you have children, you need to think about estate planning. It encompasses essential legal services and documents that ensure your wishes are upheld after you pass. Estate planning ensures your family and other beneficiaries are protected. Some documents also protect your health decisions and financial welfare if you become incapacitated. You have worked hard for all you have and the care and welfare of your minor children. Effective estate planning can reduce family conflict during a difficult and emotional time, lessen the tax burden related to assets, and help your beneficiaries avoid a costly and timely probate process.
Without a will, your family and loved ones do not have a say in what becomes of your estate, regardless of how well they may know your wishes. The state will decide. If you have any kind of assets or if you have minor children, you need a legal will in place for your protection and their protection. Let us help draft or revise a will so you can have peace of mind about the fate of assets, funds, and children.
A health care proxy gives another party legal authority to make decisions regarding your health care when you can no longer make them on your own. A health care proxy document is an extremely personal part of estate planning. It should be a decision made after careful consideration and discussion with the person you decide to put in charge of your healthcare decisions.
When you have a power of attorney in place, you decide who can make financial decisions for you if needed. If you do not have a power of attorney and you become incapacitated or unable to handle your financial matters, the court may have to appoint a guardian. This process can be time-consuming and costly for your family or loved ones. It may also mean someone you may not want in control of your finances is appointed.
Trusts are complex documents that must be drafted properly to ensure they accomplish what you intended. There are several different kinds of trust, a revocable trust has the advantage of allowing you to change your mind but the assets in a revocable trust will be counted by Medicare/Medicaid if you are seeking long term care. An irrevocable trust cannot be changed but affords greater protection of your assets. We are here to guide you through your options and help you decide what makes the most sense for you.