People can sometimes become cynical and question why they need the assistance of experts. After all, you can just go online and learn how to do anything you need to do for yourself, right? This is the information age and you are no longer at the mercy of those who have gained specific professional expertise is how the story goes.
The above may be true when it comes to something like making simple household improvements, but there are many things that you don’t want to try to do for yourself. Estate planning is one of them.
Your legacy is something to take extraordinarily seriously. It represents the final act of giving that you will be able to undertake, and in addition to the direct transfer of assets you may see a bigger picture. Many people would like to give something back to charitable causes, and others want to set up access to resources for future generations.
Some individuals want to include specific instructions and stipulations that must be met before distributions are made. Asset protection is a priority for a lot of people. And for small business owners succession planning is an important issue.
Of course, People sometimes are drawn in by sales pitches as we all know. Often times, when you are convinced to buy something that seems like a bargain you wind up paying a heftier price later on down the line.
This definitely comes into play when you are discussing do-it-yourself estate planning downloads and worksheets. You will never know if the generic last will or trust that you created using one of these fill-in-the blanks forms actually stood up after you pass away.
Independent researchers from Consumer Reports magazine found that these online DIY notions really were no substitute for proper estate planning with the benefit of expert guidance.
There is a lot to know if you want to plan your estate properly. It is not as simple as filling in the blanks on one form. Let’s look at some of the bases that must be covered.
When you think about vehicles of assets transfer that are utilized in estate planning the last will may come to mind first. However, you are not compelled to use a last will, and depending on your intentions and the nature of your assets you may be better served by going in a different direction. Trusts can enable quick and efficient asset transfers, and certain types of trusts can provide estate tax efficiency as well. You can also transfer assets simply and directly through tax-free gift giving and pay on death accounts.
Planning For Possible Incapacity
Some 40 percent of people who reach the age of 85 are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, which causes dementia. Individuals who are suffering from dementia can find it difficult to impossible to make sound medical and financial decisions. Of course there are other causes of incapacity in seniors as well. In response it is wise to execute durable powers of attorney. With these documents you empower individuals of your choosing to make medical and financial decisions in your behalf should you become unable to do so at some point in time.
Life Support Systems
If you were in an irreversible terminal condition and unable to communicate, would you want to be kept alive indefinitely through the utilization of artificial life support systems? If you don’t state your wishes in advance in a legally binding document this excruciating decision can be left in the hands of your loved ones. The complete, holistic modern estate plan includes a living will with which you make your wishes known regarding the use of life support and any other medical procedures that you would like to address.
Download Our Free Estate Planning Worksheet!
The Mount Clemens estate planning lawyers at our firm have developed a worksheet that is designed to help you understand the estate planning process. This useful tool is offered free of charge, and you can visit this page and follow the simple instructions to obtain access to your copy. Of course, if you are ready to schedule a consultation, and send us a message through our contact page or call us at 586-493-7661.