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Estate Planning Tools

Asset Planning

The administration of your assets can be governed by a variety of instruments:

During life: trusts and powers of attorney for property allow your trusted person(s) to act for you and manage your affairs on your behalf.

After death: trusts or a will can dictate how and to whom your assets should be distributed after your death. In the absence of such planning, your assets will be distributed by the state intestacy laws.

The planning for your assets should also include consideration for estate taxes, income taxes, minors’  trusts as well as trust arrangements for other beneficiaries, specific gifts, long term care concerns and other items specific to your wishes and needs.

 

Planning for Everybody

Young & Single–  Healthcare Power of Attorney and   (and Broke)   Health Care Authorizations (HIPAA).

Single and working –  both of the above, plus asset succession and other power Employed  of attorney considerations.

Pre-Marriage –  plan to include new spouse, future children, and perhaps, create structure for assets to be maintained separately maintained (ie. inheritances)

Newly Married –  Powers of Attorney, children’s trust planning, tax considerations, succession of assets.

New Parents—  all powers of attorney and healthcare authorizations, asset succession for spouses and children, children’s trust items and guardian appointments, tax planning, children/grandchildren planning considerations. Temporary guardianship form (for when you can finally sneak away for a vacation, a weekend getaway, a quiet dinner or even just a movie!)

Life Partner –  state law may not yet be sufficient to fully protect interests – plans to include all of the above with particular attention to control issues and health care authority.

2nd Marriage –  protect your heirs from the unintended inheritances;  trust planning to protect intent for assets.

Widowed –  clean up spouses’ estate matters.  Re-plan for your wishes and needs, particularly in the event of incapacity.

Veterans – Veterans of the Unites States Armed Forces may be eligible for certain long term care benefits.

By the way, when I ask if a client is a veteran, and they answer yes, I am often then graced with their story. Elderly eyes, tired with the experience of life, beam of pride when they tell me about their contribution to the cause.

I am convinced that there is no greater service in this world, to God and country, than to live out, work toward, even fight, and perhaps, die for, the precepts of one’s beliefs.