We can help you prepare a proper estate plan so that you can rest assured that your beneficiaries will be protected. We will be glad to put together a plan to accomplish your goals. This includes discussing the pros and cons of the following documents:
Will: This document specifies how you want your property to be distributed after your death and who you want to be in charge as the personal representative. It also allows you to name a testamentary guardian – someone to take care of your minor children.
Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney: This document allows someone else to stand in your financial shoes so that someone gives has the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf if you become unable to make decisions for yourself.
Health Care Power of Attorney: This gives someone else the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if you can no longer make them for yourself. It also allows you to give instructions for the very end, when essentially you are being kept alive but not going to get better.
Trust: A trust is a legal entity where a trustee holds and manages assets for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries. The ones we get the most questions about are revocable living trusts, which, if set up correctly, allow you to retain control over your assets during your lifetime while avoiding probate after you pass away.
Beneficiary Designations and Joint Ownership: Many financial assets allow you to name a beneficiary or have joint owners. One important thing for married couples to check is that their deed correctly specifies joint ownership. A deed needs specific language for this to be so.
There is no one size fits all plan. We will be glad to help you determine which estate planning documents are appropriate for your needs and to help create an estate plan that meets your specific goals and needs. Please contact us to discuss estate planning, or call 803.929.0096.