Take Control of Your Future: Estate Planning 101

Estate Planning 101 is where we want to start. Estate Planning often sounds like a big, overwhelming process. There is a perception that it is only for the very wealthy.

But that’s not true. Estate planning is essential for every single one of us. Estate Planning ensures that you’re in control through the end of your life, and beyond. So let’s look at Estate Planning 101, specifically, what is Estate Planning, and how can you get started.

There are four main pillars of estate planning, so we’re going to look at each one. If you are just getting started with the Estate Planning process, the pillars are listed in order of priority.

1.Power of Attorney

The Power of Attorney empowers a trusted agent (someone you designate) to speak on your behalf. You are able to select a person whom you want to have the legal authority to speak on your behalf and access your confidential information. It is extremely important to have a legal document and not rely on relationships with bankers, doctors, or businesses.


2. Advanced Healthcare Directive

The purpose of the Advanced Healthcare Directive is to identify what you want if you’re not able to care for yourself. It makes it easier for our loved ones by providing them with our thoughts and preferences in advance. It provides your loved ones with information that identifies how you want to be treated, and where you want to get access to that treatment until the end of your life. It isn’t something many of us want to think about, but by creating a Personalized Advanced Healthcare Directive, you are guaranteed to be treated how and where you want to be treated if anything were to happen to you.


3. Trusts

Creating a Trust is a step you will want to take, especially if you have more than $150,000 in assets. The Trust becomes a separate entity, similar to a corporation. You name your trustees, and if something happens to you, they can step into your shoes and keep working for you. If you pass away,  One benefit of a Trust is that it ensures that your affairs are kept private, whereas Wills become public record. Trusts give you more control and can continue working for you long after you are gone.


4. Pour-Over Will

A Pour-Over Will acts as the catch-all. It gives you a chance to ensure that anything that was left out of the trust is put back into the trust. Essentially it guarantees there are no loose ends with your estate.

These documents are essential to your estate plan. Estate Plans allow you to maintain control of your assets, and minimizes third-party interference such as courts, unwanted family members, etc.. Lastly, it answers questions your loved one will have to answer in advance – allowing them to focus on meeting your wishes versus guessing what your wishes may be. For these reasons and more, it’s critical to have an estate plan for your future. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Make sure you have an Estate Plan in place for your future!

To get started creating your Estate Plan, contact us today!

  • 5 Oct, 2018
  • Löan Shillinger

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