A good estate plan allows you to make the best use of your assets during your lifetime and preserves those assets upon your death for a smooth allocation. While you are the only one who should decide what happens to your property, you will need the help of professionals to make sure your goals become a reality. We have the experience and will pay attention to the details necessary to achieve your goals. Development of a sound estate plan will require full disclosure of your assets to determine what documents are necessary to make your estate plan complete. We will work with you to minimize the costs of tax, administration, and help provide for an efficient and smooth transfer of property.
Some of the basic documents to consider are:
Wills. A valid Will distributes your property upon your death to others, either outright or in Trust. It will also, among other things, name a personal representative to oversee the administration of your estate upon your death. Regardless of your situation, it is wise for you to have a properly prepared and executed will so that your choice of what you want to have happen to your property is clear and honored.
Trusts. Property placed in a Trust during your lifetime will not need to pass through a probate proceeding in court. Once the property is placed in Trust, the Trustee (you) can control the property. By naming a successor trustee which becomes effective upon your death, property can pass outside of probate. Assets such as bank accounts, real property, and stocks can be transferred to the Trust at any time during the Trustee’s lifetime.
Power of Attorney. A springing power of attorney allows you to name someone to act for you if in the future you become incapacitated. Have a springing power of attorney allows you to maintain control of your estate and avoid the costs of court proceedings to appoint a conservator to care for you if you are unable to care for yourself.
Heath Care Directive. A health care directive names a person to make medical treatment decisions for you if you cannot make those decisions yourself. In this document, you will make clear your wishes so that the person you name will be able to appropriately represent you.
Don’t take shortcuts and try putting the title to your home or other assets in your children’s name or list them as joint owners. If your children go through bankruptcy or get divorced, you risk losing an asset you need to live.