What is estate planning?
Updated: Jul 22, 2019
Estate planning is critically important for people with children, elderly people, blended families, same-sex couples, and anyone who has a life insurance policy, a home or business, investment accounts, or any other significant asset.
Proper estate planning ensures that you are protected in a financial or medical crisis, or if you are ever sued. Estate planning protects your loved ones after your death. Estate planning is about leaving the type of legacy you want to leave behind. Estate planning brings peace of mind.
"Our clients come to us for wisdom. Our clients entrust us with everything they have accumulated over their lifetimes, and with their most personal details. The quality of our work determines our clients’ lasting legacies.”
From a purely practical standpoint, estate planning consists of the following legal documents: (1) Last Will & Testament; (2) Revocable Trust; (3) Durable Power of Attorney; (4) Designation of Patient Advocate; and (5) Funeral Representative Designation. Properly coordinated, these legal documents ensure that you and your loved ones are legally protected in the event of death, disability, and incapacity. But estate planning is much more than mere documentation and its benefits extend well beyond these types of protections.
Benefits of Estate Planning
You save money. During the planning process, you discover ways to preserve more of your money, either through minimizing or eliminating taxes, avoiding probate court intervention, or minimizing the costs of nursing home care or other ongoing medical costs.
Life is easier. You have a trusted professional who can assist you and your family in difficult times. Your lawyer handles difficult administrative tasks so you don’t have to. In a time of crisis or loss, the last thing you want to do is deal with details.
You get what you want. You choose who makes your financial and medical decisions if you are incapacitated. You decide what type of medical treatment you wish to receive and how your assets are managed if you are unable to manage them. On death, you choose who receives your assets, when they receive your assets, and how they receive your assets. You are ready for whatever life throws at you.
Your family is protected. How you title your assets, operate your business, and the amount of life insurance you carry has significant consequences for you and your loved ones. During the estate planning process, you discover the best ways to protect your loved ones and preserve what you have. Your loved ones are protected.
You are organized. Your legal, medical, and financial information is organized and in one place. You have the information you need when making critical, time-sensitive decisions.
You leave a positive legacy. You will be remembered for your life and what you contributed. Having a quality estate plan allows your loved ones to remember you for who you are.
You have peace of mind. No matter what the situation, you are prepared. You have done your best to protect yourself and your loved ones.