Estate planning helps you manage and preserve your assets during your lifetime, enables you to efficiently transfer assets to your intended beneficiaries at death (or before) and gives you the opportunity to protect your loved ones and their inheritances well after you ultimately pass.
The elements of an estate plan are as varied as the individuals who create them. Usually, proper estate planning combines several of the following:
Everyone should, at a minimum, have the “core” estate planning documents in place. This includes a Last Will and Testament, Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Matters, Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will. For many individuals, a Revocable Trust (a/k/a Living Trust) will also be part of the core estate plan.
Once the core estate planning documents are in place, some individuals may require further planning for any number of reasons: transfer or income tax mitigation, asset protection concerns or challenging family dynamics. There are many available planning options to satisfy financial and non-financial wishes and concerns, such as: