Estate planning can be difficult to think about. It requires individuals to contemplate how their assets will be managed while they are living and after their deaths. It is thus extremely important to make sure assets are managed prudently and that next-generational family members will receive inheritances without incident.
There are a few key documents that are associated with estate planning, including wills, trusts, and powers of attorney, which are all drafted by an estate planning attorney. A will dictates how an individual's assets will be distributed after they die, trusts are financial arrangements in which someone holds property for the benefit of another person, and Powers of Attorney allow someone else to make financial or healthcare decisions on behalf of the person who granted them power.
While you're alive, you need to plan for what will happen to your assets. This includes taking care of future needs and disability planning. To take care of loved ones after death: You can do this by designating who gets your assets when you die, as well as appointing guardians for any minor children. To reduce taxes and expenses: With good estate planning, both during life and after death, you can strategize how much is paid in taxes and other expenses.
To choose your healthcare decision-maker: If you become incapacitated, you can appoint someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf. To plan for incapacity: incapacity planning allows you to designate someone to manage your finances and/or make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so yourself.
Many people put off estate planning because it seems like a daunting task, but it's crucial to have a plan in place to protect your assets and provide for your loved ones. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you navigate the process and create a custom plan that is designed to meet your specific needs and goals.