Estate planning is simply the process of putting your affairs in order should you become incapacitated or pass away. Having a solid estate plan is the best gift that you can leave for your loved ones. It will ensure that your assets pass to your beneficiaries in a quick and cost-effective manner. The benefits of estate planning include:
- Determining who will manage your financial affairs should you become incapacitated
- Authorizing someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make them yourself
- Designating who will care for your minor children and pets
- Maximizing the transfer of assets to your beneficiaries in a manner and method determined by you
- Providing for minor children
- Reducing the cost and delay associated with the transfer of your assets upon your passing
- Providing for the orderly operation and transfer of your business
- Minimizing the stress for your loved ones
Regardless of your age, health or financial status, everyone needs a plan in place. Many are under the mistaken impression that a spouse or adult child can automatically take over for you in the event that you become unable to handle your own affairs. The truth is that in order for others to have such authority, they must petition a court to declare you legally incompetent. This process can be lengthy, expensive and stressful. Even if the court appoints the person you would have chosen, he or she may have to come back to the court every year and show how your money is being spent and invested. If you want your family to be able to immediately take over for you in the event that you are unable to handle your own affairs, you must designate a person that you trust in proper legal documents so that they will have the authority to pay your bills, take distributions from your IRAs, make medical decisions, etc.
We offer a comprehensive approach to creating an estate plan, taking into account family goals, wealth preservation, taxes, estate administration, business succession planning and contingencies for clients.