One of the basic conceptual problems people have with estate planning is not understanding what it does. Usually estate planning is seen only as drafting a will or a trust to say who you want to be in control should something happen to you. But estate planning is much more than this. Estate planning can certainly include wills and trusts to avoid probate and provide estate tax planning, but may also include the formation of business organizations such as corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs), succession planning (buy sell arrangements), asset protection planning, and estate tax planning. It will almost always include other documents such as a durable power of attorney, advance healthcare directive (a living will and special power of attorney for medical purposes), a personal gifts and effects list, and burial and funeral directions. It may include cremation directives for those who desire it as well, among many others elements.
The following statement, taught at a seminar I once attended, more comprehensively and accurately describes the purposes of estate planning from the viewpoint of the client:
I want to control my property while I am alive and well;
Plan for me and my loved ones if I become disabled;
And after I die, I want to give what I have to:
Whom I want
When I want
The way I want
All at the lowest possible cost to me and those I love.
This is a comprehensive definition of estate planning that I try to live up to for my clients. Estate planning encompasses control, disability, distribution, probate, estate and income tax planning, and asset protection. All of these aspects are of critical importance. These goals are accomplished through the use of the appropriate combination of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance healthcare directives, corporations, and limited liability companies, all carefully tailored to the wishes and needs of each particular client. I invite you to explore this website for answer to your questions and to contact me for a free initial consultation to review your individual needs. I look forward to the opportunity to meet you and assist you will your estate planning needs.