If you are like most people, the reason you are visiting our website is because you have decided it was time to put together an estate plan. Perhaps you have not investigated the issue, until now, is because of the common misconception that estate planning is only for wealthy families. That is certainly not the case. Every family can benefit from having an estate plan of their own.
Many think that they need a will, or maybe a trust to distribute your assets after death and to minimize taxes after death. We often find that most people interchange the term “will” and “trust.” Many people are surprised to learn that a will does NOT necessarily avoid probate. Even if you carefully document your wishes in a will, your estate will still end up in probate after your death. A will does not avoid probate, in fact, in most cases it guarantees it.
While distributing assets after death is certainly part of it, a well-designed estate plan can help you accomplish much more. In essence, estate planning is about planning for every stage of life, not simply what happens after you pass away. A thorough plan can help ensure that your children will be well cared for if something happens to you or your spouse. It can protect your assets from the cost of long-term care and give you control over your financial and healthcare decisions if you become incapacitated. And of course, it can allow you to give what you want, when you want, to the people you want, in the manner you want. In short, estate planning gives you control, and the peace of mind that comes with having a plan in place for the future.