Estate planning encompasses more than just creating a simple Will. Your personal and financial circumstances will determine if a Will is enough to cover your wishes.
Common estate planning tools not only include a Will, but also include a revocable living trust, a transfer on death deed, durable power of attorney for finances, power of attorney for healthcare, marital property agreement, business structure changes, and more.
Your estate plan is dependent, for example, upon the size of your estate and if you have minor children and want to appoint a guardian.
Provide for the distribution of your property upon death. Wills only dispose of property that is subject to probate. Nonprobate property, such as life insurance or trust property must be addressed in separate provisions.
Wills are used, for example, to appoint guardians for minor children and naming a personal representative to administer your estate upon your death.
A Will can also be used to create a trust or transfer property to an existing trust.
Using only a Will in your estate plan may cause you to have your estate administered in the probate court, which is costly and delays the transfer of your assets.
REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST
Today, many people create a revocable living trusts, in conjunction with a Will, as an estate planning tool to avoid probate and allow the transfer of your assets rather quickly.
POWERS OF ATTORNEY
Everyone should have a power of attorney for healthcare which appoints an agent to make decisions regarding your health should you become temporarily or permanently incapacitated.
A power of attorney for finances is also a useful estate planning tool. You appoint an agent to handle your financial affairs in the event that you become incapacitated.
Our lives change over time. An estate plan can be modified over the course of your lifetime, if necessary.
Contact Attorney Robert W. Flessas to discuss your estate plan options.