WHAT IS ESTATE PLANNING?
As an experienced estate planning lawyer St. Charles, I spend much of my time explaining to clients what estate planning is and how it works. Estate planning is the use of legal documents to not only distribute your assets when you pass away, but to name people to make decisions for you if you become disabled and/or incapacitated.
Overview of Estate Planning Documents
Common estate planning documents include a living trust, last will and testament, medical power of attorney, healthcare directive and financial power of attorney.
A living trust can help you avoid probate and provide rules about when your beneficiaries receive their inheritance. An example would be creating a provision where your beneficiary only receives their inheritance when they reach a certain age. That age is up to you and depends on your specific situation.
As one of the top estate planning lawyer St. Charles, you can count on me to also review the purpose of having a last will and testament, which is another document which can distribute property when you pass away. If you have a living trust, the will usually leaves the property to the trust, not directly to a beneficiary.
Power of attorney documents allow you to name a spouse to make financial and healthcare decisions for you if you become incapacitated. An example would be naming your adult children to do banking for you if you had dementia. A medical power of attorney could name the same adult child to work with doctors if the dementia advanced to a point where you were considered mentally incapacitated by a doctor.
Choosing the Right Estate Planning Lawyer
You should feel comfort with the skill level and personality of any lawyer you meet with. Many attorneys practice in too many areas of law, which reduces their effectiveness in all areas of law that they practice. Therefore, you should focus on choosing a lawyer that practices almost exclusively in this area.
Making estate planning decisions is intensely personal due to everyone having different family dynamics, levels of wealth and health and concerns about the ability of children to make smart decisions if they inherit your nest egg. There are many different components to determining how your estate plan is created and it’s important that we discuss all of the aspects that help you identify these components.
An initial meeting to discuss your situation will include who should be in charge of distributing your inheritance, who your beneficiaries are and specifics about their personality and what assets you have. Our focus is always on identifying client concerns and worries, client goals and educating clients on how the documents we are drafting resolve their concerns and accomplish their goals. If you’re in need of an estate planning lawyer St. Charles, contact Legacy Law Center today.