Wills and Simple Estate Planning Packages
Basic Estate Planning Packages THE WILL
WHY DO WE NEED ESTATE PLANNING? Comprehensive estate planning gives you and your loved ones peace of mind. At a minimum, good estate planning can help you prepare the following:
- Designating a guardian for your dependent minor children
- Appointing a competent person to settle the estate
- Reducing taxes on your estate
- Avoid probate and simplifying the process with property in multiple states
- Minimizing the cost of transferring property to heirs
- Spelling out end-of-life medical and burial preferences
With proper estate planning, you can protect your privacy, provide for management of your property and assets, avoid costly probate proceedings, control the distribution of property, and minimize taxation.
The most basic form of estate plan is composed of a will, a Living will, a Durable Power of Attorney, and a Medical Power of Attorney. This is a more basic, traditional estate plan; it is less costly and will be adequate for most people. This type of estate plan, however, usually requires probate (although often probate can be delayed until the death of the last surviving spouse).
Steamboat Lawyers Group, PLLC listens closely to understand the individual needs of our clients so that they can create a customized estate plan to meet their objectives. A basic estate planning package includes:
- Estate planning questionnaire with an analysis of estate plan needs
- Wills for single or married individuals
- Living will
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Medical Power of Attorney
Wills - A simple will is the most basic estate planning document. It details the distribution of your assets after your death. It can be as detailed as you need it to be, giving all assets to one person or identifying specific things to go to specific people. A number of criteria are needed for a will to be valid. If done incorrectly, your will could be contested and your assets distributed by the state. Wills provide a simple and cost-effective way to determine how your estate will be distributed. For clients with children, wills provide an effective means to determine who will serve as a guardian for the children in the event of the parents' death.
Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney and Medical Power of Attorney. These tools allow our clients to plan for Incapacity or Disability. Estate planning is more than planning for death - it includes planning for any unfortunate event that could leave you unable to manage your own property or assets.
- Power of Attorney--A power of attorney allows someone to make decisions and manage your affairs if you are incapacitated. A financial power of attorney can be used to manage the financial affairs of an individual or a small business. A medical power of attorney enables someone to make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated. A power of attorney can be temporary (revocable) or permanent (irrevocable). Financial and medical powers of attorney allow you to appoint those individuals closest to you to ensure that your medical wishes are carried out and your affairs are properly managed should you become incapacitated or disabled.
- Living Will/Health Care Directive--If you are unable to communicate your wishes, a living will or healthcare directive communicates to your loved ones and your doctors the medical care you want to receive.
- With our guidance, clients gain peace of mind that their long term needs will be met, that their assets will be protected for the benefit of the person or persons whom they choose and, most importantly, their family will be protected if the unthinkable should occur.
- Once incapacity strikes, it is usually too late to implement these mechanisms and your only option is a court proceeding. If you neglect to draft a will or healthcare directive, decisions regarding your medical care and your estate will be made by the state, without regard to your personal wishes. Advance planning allows you to retain the greatest degree of control over your life and your assets. So, if you think you are too young, too old, or don't have enough assets to put together an estate plan, think again. It's never too early or too late to prepare.