What Is An Estate Plan?

And Do I Need One?

Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Advance Directives for Health Care

An “estate plan” can include many things, but it is more than just a will.

An estate planning lawyer considers lots of important factors to come up with a way to honor the client’s wishes and meet his or her goals.

Estate planning goals will be different from one person to the next, but they typically include a desire to avoid or minimize taxes, to provide for the client’s family after death, and to make sure that the client’s health wishes are honored.

So, an estate plan usually involves at the very least a Last Will and Testament, but also can include a trust, powers of attorney, and an Advance Directive for Health Care.

You probably know what a will is, but what about the rest of these things?

A will controls how your property is handled after your death, but a power of attorney allows someone to help you with your affairs during your life.  Once you die, your power of attorney is no longer effective, and instead your will takes over.  There are lots of different kinds of powers of attorney, and they can be used for many purposes, including for some health care decisions.

A trust is an agreement that allows a third party to hold property on behalf of one or more “beneficiaries.”   Typically, trusts are used to minimize taxes, and to provide the client with more control over how and when his beneficiaries receive assets.

An Advance Directive for Health Care is a document used to describe a person’s wishes with regard to end-of-life medical care.

This sounds complicated, right?  But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be expensive.  An experienced estate planning attorney can provide you with a comprehensive estate plan for a lot less than you probably think.

What’s the right estate planning strategy for you and your family?  The attorneys of Lewis, Lewis & Falkner are available to help you sort out your  goals and come up with an estate plan that works for you.

Call us today for your free consultation.