Everyone has an estate of some sort regardless of what they own: a vehicle, a home, real estate property, bank accounts, or personal possessions. Your estate may be modest, or it may be vast. Either way, when you pass away, these items need to go somewhere. You can choose to give this estate to your loved ones, or it can be donated to your preferred charity. In order to get everything in order ahead of time—when you are able to make sound decisions—it is beneficial to meet with an estate planning attorney who can walk you through the process.
What You Can Include
Instead of leaving your entire estate to just one party, estate planning allows you to diversify your wishes. This can include:
- Naming a guardian for your minor children, if you predeceased them.
- Providing insurance information for replacing your income if you are injured or disabled, insurance for long-term care, etc.
- Transferring ownership of your business after death or retirement.
- Setting up a Trust for your minor children.
You can include information in your estate planning details to provide instructions for what to do if you become disabled prior to your passing. Your estate can be used to pay for your medical costs, or your estate can be transferred to someone you trust, who will properly oversee everything for you.
Estate planning ensures that when you pass away, your wishes will be carried out exactly as you wanted. You can truly control everything—from when your estate is paid out, to how much, and to whom. Through sound estate planning, this can be accomplished without the beneficiaries paying exorbitant taxes or legal fees. This information can also be updated throughout your lifetime, as circumstances change.
In addition to post-mortem planning, we can also prepare documents for use while you are still alive, such as durable powers of attorneys or advanced care directives, should you become incompetent or unable to manage your affairs.