Introduction to Estate Planning

Estate planning should be approached in the same manner that other important life decisions are approached.  We spend our lives working hard to earn enough money and property to make the lives of our children and spouses happier, wealthier, and more secure.  It is difficult to think about death or disability, but being proactive and establishing an estate plan is critical if you’re interests are to protect yourself and loved ones.  With a carefully prepared estate plan, you can move forward into the future with the confidence and peace of mind that come with knowing that you have taken the measures necessary to ensure that your loved ones are not subjected to unnecessary stress due to legal complications after you pass away.

Estate planning provides for the orderly and systematic transfer of wealth to heirs and beneficiaries.  Proper estate planning will determine:

•    How and by whom your assets will be managed for your benefit during your lifetime in the event you ever become unable to manage your assets;

•    How and by whom your personal care will be managed and how health care decisions will be made during your lifetime if you become unable to care for yourself;

•    When and under what circumstances it makes sense to distribute your assets during your lifetime;

•    How and to whom your assets will be distributed after your death.

Understanding the estate planning process will enhance your ability to plan for retirement, provide for your family, minimize the risks associated with aging and disability, reduce the costs of estate administration and taxes, and dispose of assets in the manner you desire.