"When it comes to estate planning, people don't plan to fail, they fail to plan."
The reasons are many. As with many things in life, getting started is often the hardest part. The unknown can feel intimidating or overwhelming. We understand that and help clients create effective and affordable estate plans by separating large estate planning issues into small, manageable pieces. We help clients organize their estates, preserve their assets and ensure that their property passes to their chosen beneficiaries at the appropriate time.
Estate Planning Documents
Wills are the fundamental document of an estate plan. A will makes your wishes known regarding your assets (bank accounts, brokerage accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, etc.) when you die. It's also the document that expresses your wishes for deciding who will care for your children if you die before they reach age 18.
There are many types of trusts, each addressing a different estate planning need. The most common are living revocable trusts and special and supplemental needs trusts. For clients who wish to benefit a charity as well as receive supplemental retirement income, a charitable remainder trust is an option. A consultation with us can help you decide if one of these trusts is right for you.
Trusts can also address elimination or minimization of estate taxes. Although you might think that estate taxes might not apply to you, if you add up the value of your home, cabin, retirement plans, life insurance and all of your other assets, you might be surprised by the total!
Health Care Directive
A Health Care Directive gives your spouse, domestic partner, adult child, other relative or trusted friend the authority to take care of health care matters on your behalf if you become mentally or physically unable to do so. A Health Care Directive makes your wishes clear to your family, health care providers and the courts. A Health Care Directive also allows you to name someone to make and finalize funeral arrangements for you.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney, sometimes called a Financial Power of Attorney, gives your spouse, adult child, other relative, trusted friend or domestic partner the authority to take care of legal and financial matters on your behalf if you become mentally or physically unable to do so.