What is estate planning?


You're asking for a friend, right?

Don't worry, I won't tell.

Here are the basics:

Your “estate” is made up of the property (financial, real estate, and personal) you own at your death. At its core, estate planning is the process of making and documenting decisions about what you want done with your property when you die and who you want to have the legal authority to carry out those decisions for you. It can also include making arrangements for the care and upbringing of minor children. This can be accomplished a number of ways, but is most commonly done via Wills and Trusts.

Estate planning can (and many, including me, say should) include additional documents that give someone else instructions and the legal authority to do certain things for you during the course of your life and at the very end of your life, particularly if you become incapacitated or incompetent (aka you are no longer able to take care of certain life tasks and decisions either for a limited period of time, or perhaps for the rest of your life). The typical document also included in estate planning are:

  • Durable General Power of Attorney (aka Durable Power of Attorney, General Power of Attorney, Power of Attorney for Finances and Property, and other names);

  • Health Care Power of Attorney (aka Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions, and other names); and

  • Advance Directive for a Natural Death (aka Living Will, Advance Medical Directive, and other names).

And that's the basic overview. Still need more information? You don't have to figure this out alone! Consulting with an Estate Planning Attorney can help you decide what will work best for you. My Estate Plan Initial Consultation appointments are perfect for this - one time, no (continuing) obligation, get the info you need and decide for yourself, schedule yours now!

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Still too much? You can keep reading about this topic? by checking out the Related Posts below.