Estate Planning

Estate planning is a process where individuals can determine who will act on their behalf if they become disabled and who will care for their minor children as well as the recipients of their property when they are deceased. The process is often easier than most people anticipate but can be more complex depending on the situation of each individual. The primary documents for estate planning are:

Living Wills

A properly drafted estate plan will establish who shall be given property and when or under what conditions it can be received.  Preparations can be made to protect an individual’s assets during his or her lifetime and make health care as well as financial decisions if the individual is unable to do so.

The potential for guardianship, probate, and litigation, which are all extremely costly as well as time consuming, can be eliminated or greatly minimized through estate planning.

Updating an Estate Plan

Estate plans should be periodically updated as the laws and each individual’s personal situations change over time.  Seniors should have estate plans updated as many of their documents are typically outdated and may no longer reflect their current situations.

Some instances where an estate plan should immediately be reviewed include, but are not limited to: moving to a new home; after the birth, death, or adoption of a child; after the death of a spouse or beneficiary; after a marriage; after a divorce; prior to surgery; after the diagnosis of a serious illness or after a great increase or decrease in one’s financial circumstances.