What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the preparation for the management of your estate that occurs during your lifetime to handle the distribution of your estate following your death. Having a solid estate plan in place during your lifetime can save you money, protect your assets, and assist your loved-ones in handling your estate based on your wishes.
Basic Estate Planning Packages
A basic Estate Plan consists of the following items:
- Last Will and Testament
- Advance Health Care Directive
- Durable Power of Attorney
Each of the above documents serves a specific purpose in the overall estate plan. Packages start at $899 for an individual and $1500 for couples, regardless of marriage. A Last Will and Testament is the document that will be tailored to your specific wishes for the distribution of your real and personal property, your funeral arrangements, and the handling of your debts, if any. An Advance Health Care Directive is a back-up plan that your doctor will use in case you are suffering from an irreversible condition or are terminally ill. It allows you to choose whether or not you would like to have life-sustaining medical care or if you would prefer to be provided with just the support to give you comfort and allow you to die naturally. A Durable Power of Attorney is a document that allows you to designate an individual to make important legal decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so because you are incapacitated in any way.
Do I Really Need an Estate Plan?
Yes! There are many reasons to have an Estate Plan in place; typically, the most important is to ensure that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes, rather than the asset distribution used by the state. An Estate Plan will save your heirs a great deal of money, and provide a greater likelihood that they will receive the assets you wish to leave them and avoid legal fees.