Some people believe that estate planning is something you do at or after retirement. However there are many events that should lead one to plan their estate sooner than later. Some of these events include divorce, remarriage, a new child, the sale of real estate, or acquiring a new business. Our firm has extensive experience in protecting your assets and ensuring that they will be distributed according to your wishes.
Part of an estate plan is your will. The will is a document which provides the manner in which your property will be divided when you die. A will allows you to name one or more persons to manage your estate (your personal representative) and oversee the distribution of your property at death. Having an updated will is important for your property to be transferred as you wish.
In addition to a will, many choose to have a trust as part of their estate plan. A trust is a plan that can help you manage your property during life which allows for a smooth transition of affairs after death. There are many benefits to having a trust, both inter vivos (set out in your will) and living trust. We would be happy to discuss your unique situation. If you have a child or family member with disabilities you may want to discuss a special needs trust as part of your estate planning.
Power of Attorney
Another part of your estate plan should be a Durable Power of Attorney. This document gives another person the ability to handle your affairs. If you have no Durable Power of Attorney in place and you should become incompetent, your family will have to petition the court to have a guardian and/or conservator appointed for you. There are many types of a power of attorney.
Yet another document for your estate plan is the advanced directive. Many call this the Living Will. This documents sets out your personal wishes should you become terminally ill or injured so that your family is not faced with these decisions at a critical time in your life.