What is Estate Planning?
It’s more than just a will. Estate planning involves making a full assessment of your family situation, where you are now, where you want to be, and what to do if, unfortunately, you suffer a life-altering disability or even death.
For almost all families, single parents and married couples even without children, Advanced Directives such as a Durable General Power of Attorney and an Appointment of Healthcare Representative (including within a Living Will) are an absolute must. Those documents help instruct loved ones about what to do in the event you are no able to make decisions for yourself.
Likewise, just about everyone needs a Will. The will is the document that tells loved ones what to do with your assets in the event you die.
For many people, however, the above Estate Planning documents are the bare necessities. A primary goal of Estate Planning is to avoid the probate process – in other words, if possible try to avoid having an estate opened for you when you die. Good Estate Planning involves identifying all of your assets and figuring out ways to prepare for the smooth transfer of ownership to your loved ones at a minimum cost.
If you have children, you may need a Testamentary Trust. If you have a family member with special needs, you may need a Special Needs Trust. If you have substantial assets, you may need tax planning. If you own a business, you need a succession plan that can involve creating an Operating Agreement and Shareholder Agreement.
At Salmon & Hewins, we are specially equipped to help you identify and plan for every future need you may have. And best of all, we can do it efficiently, at a minimum of both time and cost to you, our client. Reach out to us today to set up an appointment.