Estate planning is an important step in protecting the your assets and protecting your family. Starting your estate plan will help your family avoid probate in the event of your death. It is an easy process, but, sadly, one that many people don’t complete and leave their family unprotected.
There are two reasons a person or family might not have an estate plan in place:
- they believe they cannot afford one; or,
- they don’t want to take the time to gather all of the information required to produce the documents.
Your estate plan will contain several documents. Including:
- A Living Revocable Trust
- A Pour-Over Will (Last Will and Testament)
- A Durable Power of Attorney
- An Advance Health Care Directive
- HIPAA Release Forms
- Nomination of Guardians for Minor Children
- Certificate Of Trust
- Trust Overview
- Trustee’s Affidavit
- Personal Property Memorandum(s)
- Funding Instructions
A minority of families or individuals require more specific and detailed devices that will cover their estate. These instruments require time to gather information and build a plan that will properly address those needs. However, even a detailed plan requires the above fundamental documents to lay the foundation of their estate plan. Often, an individual or family can be overwhelmed by the number of documents, devices, time, and attention that a comprehensive plan might entail. This leads to putting off of the production of the devices, and the estate becomes subject to the distribution laws of the state instead of the wishes of the individual or family.
My office focuses on these fundamental devices. My goal is to streamline the information gathering and produce these fundamental documents as quickly and efficiently as possible. This reduces the overall number of hours required to produce the documents, thus saving money in reduced fees for the family.
There are discount services available over the internet. Many of these services use canned templates to “fill in the blanks” of those documents. It is likely that an attorney doesn’t review the documents or insure that the documents properly cover the needs of the family or individual. Although many families have similar requirements, there are subtle differences that an attorney can help to determine and insure that they are built into your estate plan.
Your estate plan is an important step in protecting your family and your assets. An estate planning attorney will help to insure your family will spend the least amount of time and property subjected to probate. Feel free to call or email for a free consultation.