Estate planning is one the most intimate practices of law due to its inclusion of an individuals personal objectives, family interests and professional aspirations. Our estate planning attorneys provide counsel towards establishing well developed estate plans that address our clients short-term and long-term personal objectives while also promoting the interests of their loved ones and furthering their business relations. Some common reasons individuals or families wish to establish an estate plan may include:
Establishing guardianship for a dependent loved one
Establishing inheritance guidelines for children or loved ones
Ensuring proper business succession
The Importance of Estate Planning
The Last Will & Testament is one of the most fundamental components of estate planning. If an individual dies without a simple will or revocable trust, then all estate property and assets will be allocated according to intestate laws rather the individuals specific, personal wishes or preferences. If a will based plan or trust based plan is not included in your estate planning process, it is possible that many loved ones with not be provided for in the way you had desired or expected.
Another risk of not establishing an estate plan can be observed in the event of incapacity. Without the proper health care directives , it is likely that vital medical decisions will be made by other which may not reflect your interest or your family’s interests. In the event of incapacity or a tragic death, you or your loved ones may even be placed in the care of an unrelated third party. For instance, if an adult becomes incapacitated and has not established a power of attorney, then the probate court may appoint a third party executor, unknown to you, to handle important family and business issues, which may not necessarily be in accordance with your personal wishes. Failure to appoint guardianship can also allow for a dependent loved one, such as a child, elderly loved one, or special needs relative, to be cared for by a non-family member who may not understand their specific needs.
Estate planning is also quite crucial for wise financial planning. By examining your interests from a five-year, ten-year and twenty-year viewpoint, you can make wise decisions in the present time to best protect you property and assets in the future. Additionally, estate planning can be useful by lowering annual estate taxes through the establishment of an irrevocable trust. Estate planning can also protect specific assets from being taken through lawsuits or legal disputes.
A well thought-out estate plan avoids numerous problems. An estate is a dynamic, living thing that develops and changes as the needs and status of its owner grow and change. Therefore, in most cases, our estate planning attorneys highly suggest that individuals, families and business consider estate planning throughout their life to reflect their evolving interests.