Estate planning prepares for the transfer of a person’s wealth and assets after his or her death. Many different items can be included in an estate plan, such as life insurance, pensions, real estate, vehicles, and personal belongings. Everyone can benefit from estate planning, no matter the size of the estate. A plan can ensure your home, wealth, and other assets are distributed properly following your death, allowing you to provide for your family even after you are gone.
Estate planning is more than just drafting a will. The planning process protects your future and the future of your loved ones. A comprehensive plan typically includes a living trust or irrevocable trust, pour-over will, financial power of attorney, and advance health care directive, in addition to carefully considering who can help you manage your affairs in the event that you become incapacitated.
Monitoring and alleviating the tax consequences of the probate process is an important function of an estate planning lawyer. Being able to limit the cost of transferring assets is not only important to you but can directly impact your beneficiaries. Estate plans can also provide for charitable donations to ensure that any non-profit organizations you feel passionate about can receive financial support with limited taxation after your passing.
A revocable living trust is designed to be in operation during your lifetime and will be changed with the ebb and flow of your life. It is a useful estate planning tool to determine who will receive your property after your passing.
With ironclad terms, an irrevocable trust cannot be modified, amended, or terminated without the permission of the person who has been named beneficiary within that trust. This trust is safe but equally inflexible.
A financial power of attorney is a particular type of authority that allows another person to act on your behalf to deal with your finances. A financial power of attorney, once signed and certified, can be presented to third parties as permission for a person to make decisions on your behalf.
An advance healthcare directive is also known as a living will and can be used to articulate your healthcare directives to medical professionals. Advance directives dictate your wishes for doctors and caregivers in case you become terminally ill, seriously injured, or comatose.
Your estate plan outlines your plan for trust administration. When a person dies, someone will be required to safeguard the assets tied up in a trust. That trustee is responsible for managing the trust assets and distributing them according to the instructions contained in the trust agreement.
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