Protect your family with an estate plan by Newland & Newland LLP. Estate planning means having control over decisions. Sometimes you’ll hear about someone’s “estate” who has passed away costing a fortune in attorneys fees.
An estate planning attorney can help draw up the necessary documents needed for a proper Estate plan and relieve your family from the problems associated with mental disability, health issues and assets.
Think for a moment about the various assets you or your loved one owns: bank accounts, investment accounts, 401(k) or 403(b) plan accounts, your house, cars, jewelry, family heirlooms, etc. Your estate includes all this and more. Your estate plan can determine what happens to all these assets when you die.
An Estate plan will also focus on how to take care of you as you age or if you become ill or incapacitated. Whether you’re wealthy or not has little to do with it.
What happens to assets is just the beginning. For parents, having a will is the only way to name a guardian to raise your minor children if both parents die.
A good plan will also include designating who can communicate with health care professionals and make decisions about what type of care you should receive if something happens and you can’t make those decisions yourself.
without a plan your family may be left scrambling at an already difficult time. Someone will have to ask a court to decide who will act as guardian for your minor children (or maybe even for you), and state law will determine what becomes of your assets. Bottom line: If you don’t decide, someone will decide for you.
Establishing a plan is only the beginning. Major life events are likely to call for changes to your plan. A regular review of your plan from time-to-time will ensure it continues to meet your needs. You need to consider whether your plan documents, asset titling, and beneficiary designations allow your assets to be distributed according to your wishes as time changes.
The Five essential documents
Each person’s situation will determine which documents a plan requires; however, there are five often essential documents to consider:
A will provides instructions for distributing your assets to your beneficiaries when you die. In it, you name a personal representative (executor) to pay final expenses and taxes and distribute your remaining assets.
A durable power of attorney lets you give a trusted individual management power over your assets if you can’t manage them yourself. This document is effective only while you’re alive.
A health care power of attorney lets you choose someone to make medical decisions for you if something happens and you can’t make them yourself.
A living will expresses your intentions regarding the use of life-sustaining measures if you are terminally ill. It doesn’t give anyone the authority to speak for you.
By transferring assets to a revocable living trust, you can provide for continued management of your financial affairs during your lifetime, after your death, and even for generations to come.
Contact Stephen Newland, J.D. regarding any estate planning questions you may have. Steve is conveniently located in Libertyville, Illinois.
Call us today (847) 549-0000 for a free initial consultation.