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Whether you need a will, trust, power of attorney, or a complete estate plan, we at Aventus Law Group can provide ARAG Members a comprehensive analysis and consultation and provide a custom plan for every individual and family

 

 
 

What is estate planning?

The primary goals of estate planning is to manage the transfer of assets to intended beneficiaries, to provide for the care and custody of minor children, and to plan how personal and financial affairs are handled in cases of capacity.

A comprehensive plan will effectively accomplish all intended client goals while avoiding costly court processes and fees.

Why do I need an estate plan?

Below are some common ways how any person may benefit from an estate plan:

  1. Avoid a costly and lengthy probate court procedure.

  2. Direct exactly how your personal and real properties are distributed.

  3. Plan for your incapacity with a power of attorney and an advance healthcare directive as to minimize the possibility of a court supervised conservatorship in the future.

  4. Appoint guardians for minors and provide directions for their care.

  5. Provide your loved ones guidance and structure as to your wishes.

Every person can benefit from an estate plan, whether it consists of just a will or if is a more comprehensive plan involving revocable trusts. Speak with our estate planning attorneys to learn what is suitable for your personal situation.

What is a complete estate plan?

An estate plan is unique for every individual client as it must take into account a wealth of data across varying topics such as the client’s family, finances, health status, and general intention of how they wish their personal and financial affairs is to be be handled during life and in cases of incapacity and after death.

Every estate plan will typically rely, at a minimum, on the following documents to be drafted specifically for the client:

  1. Will

  2. Revocable Living Trust

  3. Power of Attorney

  4. Advance Healthcare Directive

  5. Certification of Trust

  6. Assignment to Trust

Got the documents — is that all?

Estate planning involves more than just creation of legal documents. An estate planning lawyer should also provide guidance on:

  1. Transferring title and assets into a trust.

  2. Pay-on-death and transfer-on-death accounts.

  3. Beneficiary designations.

  4. Joint tenancies.

  5. Marital deductions, if applicable.


What is a will and why do I need it?

A will is a testamentary document which allows an individual to direct how their affairs are managed after their death. A will allows a person to distribute their personal and real properties to whomever they wish, appoint guardians for their children, provide for funeral instructions, and settle any other personal and financial affairs.

Without a will, there can be a lot of confusion and uncertainty as to what the decedent wished, and it is not uncommon for these cases to require costly court intervention.

If you have never properly executed a will or trust, it is highly advised that you have one prepared for you as soon as possible. Even a simple, self-completed will which accurately reflects your wishes, is better than nothing. As your assets and family both grow you will benefit greatly from having a complete estate plan.


What is a living trust and why do I need it?

A living trust is a legal document which allows a person to fully manage their assets during their lifetime, while allowing for someone of their choice to step in should they become incapacitated, and also directing how personal and real properties are to be distributed upon their death. It is the core component of a full estate plan.

If you have never properly executed a trust or will, it is highly advised that you have one prepared for you as soon as possible, especially if you own real estate and/or have children. As your assets and family both grow your need for an estate plan should greatly increase.

Avoid probate, save money

A decedent’s estate needs to be probated and this is true whether or not the decedent had a valid will (contrary to popular belief). In majority of cases where there are some assets involved, the probate court will have to become involved which typically involves thousands of dollars in statutory attorney’s fees and out-of-pocket costs.

By creating a living trust and transferring your assets to this trust, you can own and manage your assets in full while allowing such assets to avoid probate entirely. This typically saves thousands of dollars while also providing privacy of your affairs from the probate court.


What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a document in which the principal gives an agent (also known as the “attorney-in-fact”) power to act in the principal’s place in one or more matters, possibly including financial matters and personal care decisions.

What is a “springing durable” power of attorney?

A “durable” power of attorney is one that continues in force and effect when the principal becomes incapacitated.

A “springing” durable power of attorney is one that takes effect only on the occurrence of a particular event, most typically the incapacity of the principal.

Do I need a power of attorney?

A general durable power of attorney (along with an advance healthcare directive) is a crucial component in any comprehensive estate plan in protecting the client in unexpected situations of incapacity and assisting the trustee of any involved trusts in carrying out certain required tasks.

Speak to our experienced estate planning attorneys today to determine what type of power of attorney you need for your estate plan and what considerations you should make before choosing your agent.


What is an advance healthcare directive?

An advance healthcare directive (“AHCD”) generally consists of health instructions and a power of attorney for health care, allowing an agent to make health decisions on behalf of the principal in the event of incapacity.

Why do I need an AHCD?

An AHCD, along with a durable power of attorney, is an essential component of any estate plan. The importance of planning out what should occur in the event of incapacity is paramount. Without clear and valid instructions, a person who becomes incapacitated may be subject to costly and invasive conservatorship proceedings in court.

Many individuals have strong feelings on topics such as being on life-sustaining medical support while in a comatose state, and other intimately personal decisions regarding organ donations and burial instructions. By having a proper AHCD and a complete estate plan, you can have maximum control of your personal health affairs.

Do I need a power of attorney if I have an AHCD?

Yes, we advise in most cases for each person to have both, as each document serve a crucial component in any comprehensive estate plan in protecting the client in unexpected situations of incapacity and assisting the trustee of any involved trusts in carrying out certain required tasks.

Speak to our experienced estate planning attorneys today to determine what type of power of attorney you need for your estate plan and what considerations you should make before choosing your agent.