Estate planning is the preservation and the distribution of your assets, both during your life and upon your death. It is accomplishing your personal and family goals and easing the management of your financial and legal affairs, as well as minimizing taxes if your estate is large enough for taxes to be of concern.
When we talk about an estate, we mean all assets of any value that you own, including real property, business interests, investments, insurance proceeds, personal property and even your personal effects. These assets may be owned by you separately or jointly with others. An “estate plan,” generally, refers to the means by which your estate is passed on to your loved ones on your death. Estate planning can be accomplished through a variety of methods, including:
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Last Will and Testament / Probate
- Lifetime Gifting
- Joint Ownership
- Beneficiary Designations
- Life Estates
While the type of documents needed in an estate plan are similar, your estate planning documents need to match your plan. The best estate plan for you is unique because each family’s situation is different. Some have disabled children, second marriages, divorce or in-law concerns, minor children, elderly parents or siblings and other dependents, or just concerns that their beneficiaries may be taken advantage of.
In order to advise you properly and provide some options for you to think about, we offer a free, no obligation consultation to review your situation and objectives and talk through a recommendation.
We provide an estate planning portfolio which typically provides the following basic items, plus any extra items that can simplify your administration or save taxes.
Will, with appointment of guardian and trust for minor children (Standard or with A/B Trust Divisions), Statutory Durable Power of Attorney, Durable Medical Power of Attorney, Family HIPAA Release, Physician’s Directive (Living Will), and Temporary Appointment of Guardian for Minors or Appointment to Handle Remains, if beneficial.
Living Trust-Based Portfolio:
The Living Trust Plan includes a customized Revocable Living Trust, assistance with funding and asset transfers, deed for transferring home into trust, and ongoing support for future asset-transfers if needed. In addition in also includes the items covered in Will-Based Plan.
Pour-Over Will with appointment of guardian for minor children, Multi-state and Texas Statutory Durable Power of Attorney, Durable Medical Power of Attorney, Family HIPAA Release, Physician’s Directive (Living Will), and Temporary Appointment of Guardian for Minors or Appointment to Handle Remains, if beneficial.
Problems often arise when people don’t coordinate all of these methods of passing on their estate. If you have a well-drafted estate plan in place, you will ensure that your estate passes to whom you want, when you want, and is carried out in the manner you’ve chosen. You can rest assured that your family won’t have to endure the public process and costly matter of probate. The government won’t be able to take what you’ve spent a lifetime building. But you need to be aware of the many options that exist in estate planning – and you must choose your estate planning attorney wisely.
We want you to feel confident about the choices you make – let us be your guide on the path toward preserving your family’s future.