Estate planning is often thought of as a necessary evil, but I’d like to propose a different perspective. You have lived a life that’s uniquely yours. You’ve worked hard to achieve what’s important to you and to preserve the relationships that matter most. A proper estate plan honors these accomplishments and pays respect to both you and your loved ones. There are a number of components. Below, we will discuss the must-haves.
POWERS OF ATTORNEY
There may come a time when you are no longer willing or able to physically or mentally care for yourself. It is important you have someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf. In order to ensure this individual is of your choosing, you must establish the person and their powers in writing while you have legal capacity. If you also have children with special needs, it is important to secure their care and protection before you begin to age yourself.
It is important to understand there are different types of powers of attorney. If you willingly hand over complete control, you are allowing another individual to borrow money, access your bank account, sell your personal property, and enter legal contracts under your name. In contrast, without enough authority, the individual may not have the rights needed to make meaningful decisions. Thus, it is wise to grant powers of attorney under the guidance of a trained legal professional.
WILLS & TRUSTS
Many clients come to my office seeking a last will and testament. Although it is crucial to outline your wishes in a written document, you have many options including a will only or a will and trust. Wills are often a lesser investment than trusts and can be a smart choice for simple estates if you implement other strategies to minimize the need for probate. They are written efficiently in simple language and can be amended. However, they only cover your death and offer fewer options than a trust. In order for the will to be implemented it must be probated.
A will and trust, on the other hand, are a bit more involved and expensive during the planning phase. They require additional information and documentation. The advantage is this initial investment can save your loved ones time and money throughout you and your spouse's life, at the time of each of your deaths since trusts do not have to be probated. Furthermore, trusts allow for greater customization to your estate plan. For example, through options such as stretching out distributions to beneficiaries over a period of time, you can protect your heirs against themselves and those who may wish to prey upon them financially.
PROTECT YOUR POWER
These are a few of the considerations to take into account when designing your ideal estate plan. There are many ways to secure your finances, care for those you love, and conserve your business. A well-versed estate planning attorney can help you navigate through all of the available options and select the best ones for your unique needs.
ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY IN TOPEKA, KS
Estate planning benefits everyone. A comprehensive will or will and trust will ensure your wishes are respected and your loved ones are well taken care of for years to come. If you’d just like to explore your options, please reach out to me. I offer complimentary consultations to all of my new clients, and I’d enjoy the opportunity to meet with you and discuss your needs.