What is an Estate Plan?
In an Estate Plan, a client determines how their assets will be transferred after they pass away. An Estate Plan can provide the client with full access to their assets and continuity of control during their lifetime, while also designating their intended beneficiaries. We recommend that your Estate Plan include:
- Last Will and Testament
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Health Care Advance Directive (which provides for a Designation of Health Care Surrogate, Living Will, HIPAA Authorization and Release, and your specific desires regarding organ donation, burial or cremation).
Your Estate Plan may also include a Living Trust (also known as a Revocable Trust). A Trust typically provides for you to act as your own trustee during your lifetime as long as you are able to serve. Your Trust nominates a successor trustee, to hold assets on your behalf and ultimately for distribution to your beneficiaries. Trusts can be arranged in many ways and can specify exactly how and when the assets pass to your beneficiaries.
Because trusts may avoid probate estate administration, your beneficiaries may gain access to these assets more quickly than they might to assets that are transferred using a will. Your assets in your trust may be able to pass outside of a court administered probate estate, which will save time, legal fees, court fees and protect your privacy.
If you have questions about Estate Planning, please contact our office.