Last year’s uncertainty about the future of the estate and gift tax caused many people to put their estate planning on hold, even though estate and gift tax planning is only a teeny tiny piece of estate planning. Now that the clouds have lifted and Congress has given us clarity, there is simply no reason for anyone to delay in implementing these five estate planning essentials:
Will. Look around you right now. Everything you see has to be distributed in the event of your death. Your Will names the person you want to handle it all and can also indicate who you want to receive it all. If you don’t have a Will, a Judge decides who is in charge of your affairs and State law provides who receives everything you own. Take control now by getting your Will in place today.
Kids Protection Plan®. If you have minor children at home, you need a comprehensive set of documents to ensure they are taken care of by the people you want, in the way you want, no matter what. Not just for the long-term, but also in the immediate term if and when something happens to you. A Kids Protection Plan® does just that. Only a licensed Personal Family Lawyer® has the skills, training, and resources to create a comprehensive Kids Protection Plan for your family, so call us today if you do not have one in place already.
Advance Medical Directive. Also known as a health care proxy, durable power of attorney for healthcare or living will, this document provides the legal right for the person of your choice (your representative) to make healthcare decisions for you in case you become incapacitated and unable to make those decisions for yourself. Plus, it also lets that person know HOW you want decisions to be made if you cannot make them for yourself. Without an Advance Medical Directive in place, your family could have their hands tied when it comes to ensuring you get the best care possible, in the way you would want.
Power of Attorney. In the event you cannot communicate, your Power of Attorney will allow your family to gain access to your financial accounts so they can pay your bills and manage your financial affairs. Without this in place, they’ll face an expensive, long and public court process to take matters into their hands. Don’t leave your family in that position, handle this today.
Trust. If you own any property that would go through the probate process (a home, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, business assets, investment real estate, and other investment assets), you’ll want to make sure to have a Trust set up as soon as possible so your family isn’t stuck dealing with an expensive, unnecessary, long, and totally public Court process in the event of your death. A revocable living trust puts the people you know, love and trust in control without having to go to Court.
If you’re ready to do the right thing by your family, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $750 for a Family Wealth Planning Session, but because this planning is so important, I’ve made space for the next two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call today and mention this article.