Financial Peace of Mind
Maybe you are young. Maybe you don’t yet have a lot of assets. You might think you don’t need an “estate plan.”
But, everyone has an “estate.” Every adult– and especially people with children– should have an estate plan.
A good estate plan helps distribute your assets. But, it also controls what happens if you become ill or incapacitated.
We are often asked “What’s the difference between a will and an estate plan?”
The short answer is a will can be part of an overall estate plan– but it is only one part.
In addition to ensuring that your assets are transferred to your heirs upon your death, a successful estate plan also allows your family members to manage your assets if you become incapacitated.
An estate plan also helps ensure that your wishes for guardianship of your children, your funeral arrangements, your healthcare decisions, and other life issues are respected and carried out.
Our estate plans are customized to your situation and your wishes. We understand that no two individuals are alike. We will take a personal approach and let you know the best options available for you.
Although every situation is different, a good estate plan will include certain components.
A will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property after your death. A will can also be used to:
Trusts are legal arrangements set up to (1) provide asset protection and (2) assist in the distribution of assets in the trust. Trusts can help save time, reduce paperwork, and sometimes avoid taxes and / or probate.
A power of attorney lets you appoint an agent to take care of your finances, bills, investments, taxes and other financial matters if you are unable to do so.
A power of attorney is a part of every estate plan.
Powers of Attorney can be broad or limited to a specific purpose.
A healthcare power of attorney (HCPA) designates another person (often a spouse or family member) to make important healthcare decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
When designating an HCPA, you should choose a person you trust to honor your wishes. It can also be a good idea to choose a “backup” HCPA.