Estate Planning

Estate planning is a sensible and important part of financial planning and a way of guaranteeing the final wishes of the estate owner for the management of his/her wealth and assets. It is a clear and concise way of cataloging and distributing a person's assets after his/her death as per their expressed wishes. Estate planning can provide for the administration of the owner's business holdings in case of deteriorating health or incapacity, afford financial security to the family or dependents, assign guardians for minors, express the owner's healthcare wishes, allocate funds and property to heirs, etc.

Estate planning is something that most people can use to settle their estate, despite the popular belief that estate planning is only for the wealthy. Everyone has an estate, regardless of the size and value of his/her property or assets. Without appropriate and proper planning, the state will decide how a deceased person's assets and property will be divided between his/her heirs. This process is done according to individual state law with little regard for the wishes of the estate owner. The estate of the deceased is settled through that state's probate process. This process guarantees the methodical and systematic distribution of property and assets and is essential to ensure and protect the estate of the deceased. The probate process serves to settle debts and taxes of the estate and resolve asset disbursement.

"You only need to be alive to die," as obvious as that statement is, it only serves to make the point of just how important estate planning is to you, your family, and your heirs. Sudden death can leave your estate and family in chaos without adequate financial security or suitable organization. Estate planning helps to maximize the amount of assets that the heirs or beneficiaries receive or inherit by reducing the amount of taxes owed and avoiding or minimizing probate court costs.

Estate planning can provide many benefits including:

  • Wills and Trusts
  • Inter Vivos Trust
  • Inter Vivos Gifts
  • Distribution of Property
  • Designate a Guardian
  • Designate a Successor Custodian
  • Appoint a Trustee
  • Designate an Executor
  • Power of Attorney
  • Healthcare Proxy
  • Payment of Estate Tax
  • Inheritance Rights

If coordinated and monitored by an experienced estate-planning lawyer, the process is more than the distribution of assets according to a will or trust. Estate planning typically minimizes fees and tariffs and can include contingency plans in order to ensure personal desires concerning health care issues. In addition, it can include provisions and instructions for the proper management of your investments, employee benefits, life insurance, business holdings, or any other asset you may own.

Documents usually used in the process of estate planning include:

  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Last Will In Testament
  • Living Will
  • Living Trust
  • Limited Partnership

In order to ensure the immortality of your wishes, estate planning is a necessary process through which financial as well as personal decisions are paired with legal arrangements in order to carry out your requests and desires.

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