What is Estate Planning?

Estate Planning can mean many different things to different people.

Despite what you may have heard, Estate Planning isn’t about documents, it’s about people.  Each client, and his or her beneficiaries, have unique goals and circumstances.  Your Estate Plan should address these goals and circumstances.  We would like to assist you in developing and implementing such an Estate Plan.

Over the years, we have developed a general definition of Estate Planning that has proven to be meaningful for our Clients, at least as a starting point:

  • Maintaining control of your property while you are alive and competent,
  • Taking care of yourself and your loved ones during any period in which you are incapacitated,
  • After your death, getting what you have to whom you want, the way you want, and when you want, and
  • Saving every last tax dollar, professional fee, and court cost possible

To be sure, having the proper estate planning documents in force is an important part of Estate Planning.  Typically, these documents can include Living Trusts, Wills, Financial Powers of Attorney, Health Care Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, Health Care Memoranda, and HIPAA Authorizations.  In some instances, other types of estate planning documents may also be called for.

However, Estate Planning involves much more than simply signing the proper estate planning documents, and then filing them away.

Rather, Estate Planning is a process.  In order for it to work as it has been designed, your estate planning documents, and your Funding, must be periodically reviewed and maintained.  After all, not only will your family and financial situation change over the years, so will the tax and other applicable laws.