Estate planning allows an individual to plan for his or her lifetime objectives and to determine how assets and property will be distributed upon death. Estate planning is affected by state and federal laws. The various types of wills and trusts are key tools that are used in the estate planning process. In addition to trusts and wills, other estate planning instruments you may use to execute your wishes include:
- Powers of Attorney: allow you to appoint another person to make decisions on your behalf. Powers of Attorney are normally used to designate someone to make financial and legal decisions for you, but you can determine the type and scope of the power in the document.
- Health Care Directives: also known as medical powers of attorney, allow you to appoint a health care agent who will have the legal authority to make health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated and cannot make the decisions for yourself.
- Living Wills: allow you to state the type and level of medical treatment you do or do not wish to receive if you are too ill or injured to direct your own care.
An estate plan can help to reduce tax liabilities, court costs, and attorneys’ fees, and it can also make it easier for families to cope with the administrative and financial issues that arise after the loss of family members.
Estate planning can help to identify and plan for financial needs during life and after death. Financial needs to consider include retirement income, college funding, replacement income following an unforeseen illness or disability, and the needs of surviving family members.
The experienced team at McManus Law Firm can help you understand the process and tools available to plan your estate and make sure that your desires and choices are honored. We invite you to contact our office to schedule your complimentary initial consultation.