The Importance Of Creating An Estate Plan Now
Many people hold misconceptions about estate planning. “I don’t have an estate,” they say. But what people fail to realize is that nearly everyone has an estate. An estate is not a mansion filled with valuable art, furnishings and jewelry on an acreage. An estate is all the money and property that you own. So, if you have a house, car, bank account and IRA, you have an estate. And if you have these things, you and your family can benefit from estate planning.
At Bristle Law, we help you understand the tools that are available and then work with you to craft a plan tailored to your situation, family dynamics and goals.
The Top 5 Planning Documents
There are a multitude of estate planning documents out there. But which ones are right for you? The most common tools people use are the following:
- A last will and testament or “will”: This tells people “who gets what,” who should raise your minor children (and/or pets) in the event of your death (and possibly in which manner you’d prefer), how you want your funeral arranged and any charitable giving you’d like done on your behalf. We can help you name beneficiaries to your accounts.
- A financial power of attorney: This can be durable (lasting after your death) or nondurable, which terminates when you die. The financial power of attorney gives the person you designate the power to pay your bills and manage your finances.
- A health care directive: Also called a living will, this tells medical professionals and family members the care and treatments you want or do not want should you become incapacitated and are unable to express a preference. This can be as simple or as detailed as you’d like.
- A health care proxy: This is the person whom you designate to make medical decisions for you if you are unable. We offer guidance as to how to choose this person.
- A trust: Many people create a trust once they understand the tax benefits and protections a trust can provide. A carefully created trust can also mean that your estate circumvents the state probate process, as the assets held in a trust are not estate assets and do not go through probate.
Depending on your situation and goals, you may require other estate planning tools. We can help.
Let’s Discuss Your Plan
If you’re reading this, you’ve been thinking about planning. There is really no better time to plan than right now. Many simple plans can be done in one visit. Call 703-278-2027 to arrange a free consultation with our team at our Manassas, Virginia, office, or email us to request an appointment. Let’s talk about what you need and how we can get you there. Appointments are available after hours and on weekends to serve your schedule.