What is an Estate Plan?
In general, an estate plan is a documented plan for:
- Transferring personal wealth from one generation to succeeding generations or to other family members, friends or charities; and
- Designating the people who will be responsible for:
- Taking care of your property and making financial, day-to-day and health-care decisions for you if you become incapacitated during your lifetime; and
- Gathering, managing and transferring your property upon your death.
Many potential problems can be avoided or minimized through careful estate planning and communication with professional advisers. A basic estate plan typically includes:
- Last Will and Testament;
- Durable Power of Attorney;
- Health Care Power of Attorney; and
- A Living Will
Depending on a person’s circumstances, a more complex estate plan might involve one or more revocable trusts (which might include provisions designed to minimize estate tax and generation skipping tax), business succession plans, family business structures and one or more irrevocable trusts such as an irrevocable life Insurance trust, a special needs trust or a charitable remainder trust.
Meeting with one of our estate planning attorneys will help you:
- Design your estate plan to meet your specific needs and goals;
- Identify, organize and properly title your assets;
- Identify and properly designate beneficiary designations for retirement assets.