“No Plan = the State’s Plan.”
The importance of setting up your estate plan cannot be overstated. Simply put, an estate plan allows you to maintain control and flexibility following your death or incapacity. Without an estate plan in place, you and your family will be subject to inflexible, costly, and drawn out legal entanglements which can include: administration, guardianship, and conservatorship.
With the appropriate legal documents in place to meet your unique estate planning objectives, you can ensure that your assets will pass to selected family, friends, or charities, that your children will be raised by the individual of your choice, and that your estate tax exposure will be reduced or eliminated. By addressing these issues while you are alive and competent, the likelihood of family harmony disruption and costly litigation can be reduced. Most importantly, an effective estate plan will relieve your loved ones from having to deal with many of the legal ramifications associated with your death or incompetence. A comprehensive estate plan should adequately and effectively address and resolve the following questions:
- Who will manage your finances and property on your behalf if you are unable to do so?
- Where will your property pass if you die? What type of property will be given to whom?
- Who will raise your minor children if you and your spouse die or become incapacitated?
- Who will manage and distribute the property left for your minor children?
- Have you taken steps to protect your primary residence from future law suits?
- Have you taken steps to defer, reduce, or eliminate any estate taxes which may be due upon your death?