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Estate Planning

Estate planning is not just having a will or a trust, or only about “who gets what.”

The Basics of Any Estate Plan

Estate planning is not limited to the wealthy; it is relevant for anyone who owns a home, has a full-time job, or has a family. Just like families, estate plans come in various forms and sizes, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

At Denebeim Law Firm, we specialize in tailoring estate plans to meet your specific needs. Depending on your current circumstances, a simple will might suffice. If you have recently experienced health issues, it may be wise to create a power of attorney (POA) and a health care directive. Alternatively, you might be at a stage in life where establishing a trust is the right choice.

Why Create a Plan?

Having an estate plan offers several benefits. First, it allows you to assess your assets and determine who should receive them, including bank accounts, property, and possessions. This can provide peace of mind. Additionally, an estate plan minimizes confusion and potential conflicts by providing clear instructions for your family. Even for young individuals, having advance directives and POAs can be valuable in unexpected situations, such as accidents, illnesses, or incapacitation.

What is Included in a Will ?

A will not only specifies how your assets will be distributed but often includes a power of attorney (appointing someone to handle your finances in case you cannot) and a health care directive (explained below).

You have the flexibility to create a simple or detailed will according to your preferences. You can also express your wishes regarding the care of your children or pets. If you do not make these decisions, they will be left to the state. A will allows you to have your say and explain the reasons behind your choices. Additionally, you can establish specific relationships in writing to avoid any confusion.

What Advantages Does A Trust Provide?

One of the primary advantages of establishing a trust is asset protection. A trust ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and can save time, paperwork, and potential estate taxes if set up correctly.

A properly funded trust avoids probate, saving significant costs in court fees and attorney expenses. Moreover, living trusts assist in long-term care planning and address aging issues by protecting against expensive conservatorship or guardianship court proceedings, often referred to as "living probate."

 

Why Have A Financial Power Of Attorney?

Choosing someone to handle your finances in the event of a health crisis is crucial. A power of attorney grants legal authority to the person you designate. Individuals with special needs or those in nonmarital partnerships can benefit from having a power of attorney. Without the appropriate documents, unmarried individuals may face challenges in caring for their loved ones and accessing medical information.

What Does An Advance Directive Do?

An advance healthcare directive communicates your healthcare preferences to your family and medical providers before a crisis occurs. This ensures that everyone is aware of your desired medical interventions if you are involved in a serious accident, suffer a stroke, or become incapacitated.

This document also enables you to express what you do not want to happen. You can designate a healthcare agent, someone who will make decisions on your behalf and communicate with doctors and nurses when there is uncertainty.

Get in Touch

I am attorney Mendy Denebeim, and I established Denebeim Law Firm to assist and guide individuals and families in their estate planning needs. Click here to schedule a complimentary initial meeting. 

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