Creating a well-drafted, comprehensive estate plan is one of the best things you can do for yourself, your future, and your family. Many people associate estate planning with death, but this misses the mark. Estate planning is about safeguarding the retirement you have worked so hard to build, protecting your legacy for your loved ones, and making sure you have enough resources to enjoy every stage of your life.
A thorough estate plan can prevent many problems and inconveniences upon your incapacity or death. Without one, your family may face a costly, time-consuming legal process that depletes your assets and compromises your interests.
Proper planning can also help you and your loved ones avoid bitter disputes and family conflicts. In many cases, what should be a simple procedure leads to years of courtroom battles, feuds among family members, money down the drain, and damaged relationships. A detailed estate plan stops this from happening.
An estate plan is also important in the event you become unable to care for yourself or your finances. If you become incapacitated, you need someone with the legal authority to make decisions for you. In these situations, it is important to have properly delegated powers, along with written instructions, for how you want your personal and medical affairs handled. The key is planning ahead. By establishing a written plan, your wishes and needs will be carried out exactly as you desire. Without a plan in place, the court will make these decisions on your behalf – and maybe not in the way you would have wanted.
At my office, I help individuals and families create:
- Living wills
- Powers of attorney
- Joint tenancies
I also help families administer their trusts or navigate the probate process after the death of a loved one. If you have lost someone, it is very important to ensure their estate is properly handled. Even if you have a trust, some formal administration is required whenever a creator of the trust (a "settlor" or "trustor") dies. My staff and I offer the guidance, support, and knowledge clients need to get through the administration and/or probate process as smoothly as possible.