Estate planning proposal
No matter what your economic worth, it is important to have a basic estate plan in place. A plan ensures that your family and financial goals are met in the case of incapacity or death.
An estate plan should include several elements:
2) A “Pour- Over” will;
3) Power of Attorney for both financial and health care; and
4) Health-care Directives.
Trusts are legal mechanisms that let you put conditions on how and when your assets will be distributed upon your death. They also allow you to reduce your estate and gift taxes, and to distribute assets to your heirs without the cost, delay and publicity of probate court, which administers wills. A Trust can be a community property Trust for a married couple. However, an individual spouse who has separate property can maintain the “characteristic of the separate property” even in a community property Trust.
A Will tells the world exactly where you want your assets distributed when you die. It’s also the best place to name guardians for any minor children. Dying without a Will – also known as dying “intestate’ – can be costly to your heirs and leaves you no say over who gets your assets. Even if you have a Trust, you still need to take care of any holdings outside of that Trust when you die.
The Power of Attorney documents allow you to designate an agent to act on your behalf in the event of physical or mental incapacity. The Power of Attorney allows your agent to “step into your shoes” and make financial or health decisions.
The Healthcare Directive is the document in which you state your wishes about what measures should be taken to keep you alive; to not have extraordinary measures to keep you alive; donations of body parts; and possible funeral arrangements.
It is my practice to make myself available for my clients, and I usually conduct my planning sessions at my client’s home. Generally, my clients are more comfortable in their own surroundings and most of the documentation needed is readily available.
I look forward to being able to assist you creating your estate plan.