Estate planning is planning for who receives your property when you die. Regardless of the size of your estate, if you have loved ones, friends, or a favorite charity you would like to leave property to when you are gone, you should have an estate plan. Estate plans can be simple or more complex, depending on the type and amount of property that you own and on how you wish to distribute it.
The goal of any good estate plan is to ensure that your wishes are carried out and that your property goes where you want it to go when you die. Your estate plan should also be created with tax consequences in mind, so that tax liabilities of your estate can be minimized or eliminated when possible. Finally, regardless of the size of your estate, your plan should be set up in such a way to achieve your goals in as simple and as cost-effective a way as possible.
In addition to documents that set out what happens to your property when you die, an estate plan also often includes documents that designate who is to make decisions for you if you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself and what, if any, life-sustaining treatment you are to receive if you become terminally ill. These documents are sometimes called Advance Directives and often include a Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, and Living Will.
If you need assistance in creating an estate plan, we're here to help. Give us a call or contact us here to schedule a free consultation. For more information on estate planning, check out our Law Blog and FAQ pages on this website.