A professional Estate Plan will ensure that your estate will pass pursuant to your wishes. The Estate Plan will also help manage and preserve your assets both while you are living and following your death. The elements of a proper estate plan will depend on your situation and can only be determined after discussion with an estate planning professional.
There are a number of potential goals for a proper estate plan. These goals will vary depending on your circumstances. Often the estate plan will provide for managing assets during your lifetime, avoiding guardianship, and following death, to avoid probate, minimizing probate taxes and providing for the efficient transfer of assets to your beneficiaries. Often clients will say that the most significant benefit of completing the estate plan is the peace of mind that the strategy is in place, and loved ones will be taken care of.
Usually, proper estate planning combines a number of the following:
- Wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care declarations, transfers of real property title
- Planning for the cost-effective and expedient transfer of weath
- Family maintenance and protection planning
- Addressing issues unique to the elderly (Elder Law)
- Legacy planning
- Lifetime control over financial and health care decision-making
- Business succession planning
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