ESTATE PLANNING

The process of estate planning inevitably raises some difficult emotional and personal issues. Others, particularly those you love, will be affected by the plans you make now and will be expected to exercise their own judgment once you are gone. Estate planning comprises three major areas: planning for incapacity, directing your wealth, and minimizing taxes.

First, you should have contingent plans – a financial power of attorney, a health care power of attorney, and a living will – which nominate somebody else to help you make decisions. Through the power of attorney, you give a spouse, family member, or trusted friend the ability to help you with your finances should you become incapacitated.

If you are too ill to speak for yourself, you can express your wishes and have your voice heard through a living will. This advance directive lets you detail your preferences for your care. A Living Will should be accompanied by a health care power of attorney, which nominates a specific person to make medical decisions for you.


You are never too young to think about estate planning. It is vital for every person to be responsible enough to create a plan for themselves and their family.


Second, you should have plans which direct your wealth. A Last Will and Testament directs the distribution of your assets upon your death. Without a Will, your property will be distributed according to state laws. In the alternative, you could use a revocable living trust to manage your assets and provide seamless transition of wealth that avoids the court system.

Lastly, you should ensure that death doesn’t cause unforeseen tax events. Your entire estate can pass to your spouse estate tax free. This deduction, however, does not eliminate the possibility that estate taxes may be due on assets transferred by your surviving spouse upon his or her death. Careful estate planning also minimizes inheritance tax and preserves the recipient’s basis for calculating capital gains taxes.

You are never too young to think about estate planning. It is vital for every person to be responsible enough to create a plan for themselves and their family.


Crafting an Estate Plan

Each estate plan is unique. We will listen to you and learn about your specific situation before drafting documents. There are many questions that go into crafting your estate plan to accomplish your goals.

How do you want to provide for and protect your spouse?

How do you want to provide for and protect your children?

Who will raise your children if they are still minors when you die?

Do you want to avoid probate?

Do you have a family business or farm?

Are you worried about the high cost of long-term care?

Do you need to protect your assets from lawsuits or creditors?

 

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