At its core, and what most people think of, estate planning involves deciding what you want to happen to things you own after you die. This might be done with a will or a trust. But a good estate plan handles more.
A complete estate plan addresses what happens to your things after you die, but it also plans for what happens during your life if you become incapacitated. Naming the person to serve as your agent in a durable power of attorney, designating your healthcare surrogate to make your medical decisions, and setting out your wishes for end-of-life care in your living will are all part of a thorough estate plan.
Understanding all of these pieces and, more importantly, how they all fit together can be puzzling. Working with an attorney who focuses on this area of law, though, can help you see the big picture. That attorney can help you determine what’s important to you and create a plan that works to meet your goals, taking care of your dependents, heirs, or relatives in a fair and legally sound manner.
Estate planning is not about documents and forms. Instead, it a thorough plan that serves as an investment in your future when you most need care—when you cannot protect yourself—and an investment in providing for your loved ones after your death. In other words, working with an estate planning attorney means finding peace of mind, not just getting a piece of paper.
Estate Planning Issues
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Testamentary Trusts
- Pet Trusts
- Durable Powers of Attorney
- Healthcare Surrogate Designations
- Living Wills
- PreNeed Guardians
- Burial and Memorial Service Preferences