Planning your estate involves not only putting a Will, Trust, or other estate planning document in place, it requires review of your financial assets, legal obligations, family situations, and your goals at your death or at the time you would be declared incompetent.
THE DOCUMENTS I HIGHLY RECOMMEND PUTTING IN PLACE AS A SIMPLE ESTATE PLAN ARE:
1. Will which designates who will act as your Executor and what that person needs to do to take care of your legal and financial affairs and who to give the assets remaining.
2. A Durable or Springing Power of Attorney Form that states who you are naming to take care of your legal and financial affairs if you cannot do so; I recommend that you name 2 alternate people.
3. Health Care Power of Attorney Form that names the person you would like to make sure your medical needs are addressed, question the medical staff and advocate for you when needed; I recommend you have alternate people if your first choice cannot act for you.
REVIEW THE FACTS, CIRCUMSTANCES, CONCERNS AND GOALS TO DEVELOP PLAN.
In order to review what would happen if you were declared incompetent and in need of someone to act on your behalf because you could not, we need to review your facts and circumstance so that you are creating legal documents that will work in your case. We are also developing the map of your assets and debt to allow people to know your situation and gather the information needed to make sound decisions for you, and to get help from an attorney and your other financial representatives.
You need to be honest with your Attorney of your assets, debt, goals, concerns, and your family dynamics. They will affect how your agent can take care of you in the event you cannot, and to make sure your wishes are followed at your death.
PLANNING MEETING MAY LEAD TO MORE COMPLEX DOCUMENTATION
The factors may lead to needing to put different documents in place. As your advisor, I review the facts and circumstances, review with you how the law will be applied, and address your concerns. We review your options and you make the decisions of what you want put in place to protect you and your family. This may include a funded Revocable Living Trust, Irrevocable Trust or combination of these and other documentation. We discuss the pros, cons and costs. My goal is to educate you to make the right decision for you and your family. Again, my goal is to help you empower the people that will care for you when you cannot. In most cases, we are also looking to avoid the cost of probate court during life and even upon death.
BUSINESS OWNERS NEED PLANNING TO PROTECT THEIR INVESTMENT
If you are a business owner, understand that there are even more decisions and documentation that should be put in place to protect what you have worked hard to grow. We need to review who would step in your shoes to continue the business if you could not because you were in an accident, had to be hospitalized or needed to step away for a time being. We are also reviewing what you would do if you could not come back to working the business full time. We look at options, who you need to empower, and who you need to protect. We consider your possible Exit options and no matter where you are at in life, how to develop and protect one of the biggest assets in your investments. This takes documentation, thought, and plans with procedures to allow someone to help you and your family. It also allows us to review how to protect it and your family better.