Estate planning is often a topic that people avoid because it involves contemplation of death, family relationships and distributing their property. Some people believe that estate planning does not apply to them because they are young or they are not wealthy. However, many people (regardless of age or wealth) can benefit from some kind of discussion and estate plan that addresses their goals and desires regarding their property, financial, health decision making authority, and providing for the care and support of their children. These goals can be addressed in wills, trusts, and durable power of attorney documents.
Discussing your estate planning goals is a proactive measure to ensure that your wishes are known and can be carried out by your loved ones. There are a number of issues to consider that are not related to your current age or wealth. Do you have particular wishes that you want carried out regarding your funeral service and the disposition of your remains? Do you have particular personal property or other assets that you know that you would like specific loved ones to receive after your death? Is there a trusted person in your life who you would like to handle your health affairs in the event of your incapacity? Do you have children for whom you want to provide instruction for their care and support? Estate planning is the time for you to address these issues and make your wishes known.
For those people who do have significant assets and wealth and for those who have particular health concerns or considerations, estate planning is the time to identify those considerations, set your goals and design an estate plan that is specifically tailored to them. Do you have children for whom you would like to restrict their access to wealth after your death? Do you anticipate you or your spouse needing long term care? Do you and/or your spouse have children from prior marriages? Estate planning is the time to plan to identify your present financial needs and how your wealth should be maintained and /or distributed after your death.
Make your estate work for you and your goals now. Set yourself and your family at ease knowing you have planned for your children and loved ones after your death. Our team of attorneys can assist you with the estate planning process from beginning to end. Contact one of our attorneys to discuss your particular estate planning needs.
For answers to questions about what estate planning involves, see the May 2017 blog “What does estate planning involve?”