We have worked closely with estate planning attorneys over the years in helping folks meet their estate planning goals. Here is great advice we hear all the time from top estate planning attorneys:
No matter your age, the state of your health or the size of your portfolio, every adult has to address the problem of estate planning. There’s no way to avoid it! You may think that you don’t have enough money to worry about estate planning but if you’re married or have children, you should worry about it. There are different ways to handle it—on your own, with attorneys, with other advisors, etc. We wouldn’t advise you try to do this yourself. You’ve probably seen the do-it-yourself kits or software. However, documents that you prepare yourself may not be legally valid. You may not be aware of this but upon your death, your survivors may pay the consequences.
In order to understand what kinds of issues your estate-planning attorney should address, you should understand the primary goals of basic estate planning. These goals include:
- To prepare for incapacity, which can occur as a result of senile dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, accidents, etc.
- To ensure that your property passes to your intended beneficiaries at the appropriate time.
- To avoid the court probate process.
- To eliminate or at least minimize taxes (gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes).
Your estate-planning attorney will also help you draft all the required paperwork such as Durable Powers of Attorney, Designation of Health Care Surrogate, Living Will Declaration, Last Will and Testament or Revocable Living Trust.
Need to start your estate planning now? Contact us today and we’ll point you in the right direction!