Knowledgeable Legal Guidance For Your Estate Plan
As individuals or couples, creating an estate plan is one of the most important things we can do for our loved ones. Estate planning helps to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your loved ones are taken care of in the event of your incapacity or death.
At Artie Pennington Law Offices, PLLC, we understand the importance of the estate planning process and will spend the time needed to understand your goals for your estate plan. We have extensive experience with estate planning and business ownership, which allows us to provide creative solutions to complex problems. Our attention to detail ensures that our clients’ estate plans accurately reflect their wishes and that their loved ones are cared for in the event of their incapacity or death.
What Is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of making decisions about managing and distributing one’s assets during their lifetime and after their death. It involves creating estate planning documents that will govern the disposition of assets and provide instructions for medical and financial decisions if an individual is unable to make them on their own.
Estate planning allows individuals to have control over how their assets are distributed and ensures that their wishes are carried out.
What Assets Should Be In An Estate Plan?
An estate plan can include various assets such as real estate, personal property, bank accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance policies and business interests. A comprehensive estate plan considers all assets and who will receive them.
What Can A Comprehensive Estate Plan Accomplish?
A good estate plan can accomplish many things, including:
- Ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and not by the state’s default laws in the probate process
- Reducing the amount of taxes owed by your estate
- Providing for the financial needs of your loved ones
- Appointing a guardian for your minor children
- Ensuring that your health care and financial decisions are made according to your wishes if you become incapacitated
Your estate plan can also provide peace of mind during probate for your loved ones that there is a plan in place for your property and other assets.
What Are The Elements Of An Estate Plan?
An estate plan typically includes the following elements:
- Will: A will is a legal document specifying how an individual’s assets will be distributed after death. It can also appoint guardians for minor children and name an executor to manage the estate.
- Trusts: A trust is a legal entity that holds assets for the benefit of a designated beneficiary. Trusts can be used to minimize taxes, avoid probate and provide for loved ones.
- Power of attorney: A power of attorney is a legal document that appoints an agent to make financial decisions on an individual’s behalf if they become incapacitated.
- Advance health care directives: Advance health care directives are legal documents that specify an individual’s wishes for medical treatment if they become unable to make those decisions for themselves.
We can also advise you on how to select a personal representative for your estate. While not every estate plan needs to have all four elements, having a comprehensive plan ensures your wishes will be carried out if something unexpected happens.
Can Business Succession Planning Be Part Of Estate Planning?
Integrating business succession into your estate plan is not just possible – it can be beneficial. It can ensure the smooth transition of ownership and management, minimize business disruptions and safeguard your company’s legacy. Another advantage of addressing both at once is that it saves you an extra step down the line, as you have already made your arrangements.
We can help you create a succession plan outlining who inherits the business, when, and under what conditions.
Can Long-term Care Planning Be Built Into Estate Planning?
Yes, and it is yet another highly recommended step. Planning for potential long-term care protects your assets and ensures you receive proper care. We can incorporate provisions like Medicaid planning and asset protection trusts to manage finances and ensure you qualify for assistance should the need arise.
You can rest easy knowing you will be protected and cared for during your golden years.
How Should I Tell My Loved Ones About My Estate Plan?
Open communication is essential. Choose a time when everyone is comfortable discussing sensitive topics. Briefly explain general aspects of your plan without revealing specific details that could cause conflict.
Focus on how your arrangements can benefit them and give them peace of mind about you and your estate.
Where Should My Estate Plan Documents Be Kept?
You want to store all your vital documents in a secure location, but remember that your family or estate executor may need access. You can keep them at home in a fireproof and waterproof safe, have your estate attorney store them for you, or put them in a safe deposit box at your bank.
Give your executor or someone you trust a key or code that can allow them access to your estate plan if necessary.
Secure Your Legacy Today
Don’t leave the future of your loved ones to chance. Contact our experienced lawyer at Artie Pennington Law Offices, PLLC, to create a comprehensive estate plan tailored to your unique needs. With offices in Kyle and Austin, Texas, we are here to help you protect your assets and provide for your loved ones. Call us today at 512-982-1190 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.