A matter of Control!
Estate Planning deals with the control of your property while you are living and after you die. The basic documents of estate planning include wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives.
Each of these documents provides you control. You control the who, what, where and why of matters that are important to you. These documents need to be individualized to you to be the most effective.
Two documents that every person over the age of 18 needs are: 1) a power of attorney and 2) a health care directive.
These documents allow you the right to choose who you want make decisions for you, should you be unable to make the decisions yourself. The alternatives to these documents are court appointed conservators and guardians. This court appointment process is significantly more costly and time consuming.
The orderly transfer of your estate may be a concern for you. The most common ways of accomplishing an orderly transfer are by will or trust. There are good reasons to have one over the other based on your desires, the size of your estate, the nature of your bequests, and possibly the circumstances of your beneficiaries.
There are other specialized estate planning tools for special individual circumstances: Asset protection plans, Special Needs Trusts, Pooled Special Needs Trusts, Supplemental Needs Trusts. See “Specialized Approaches” under “Practice Areas” .
If you want to learn more about Estate Planning, check out the Elder Law Videos link at the top of the page.