From Our “Ask a Question” mailbag: “What is Estate Planning?”
Most recently updated on June 6th, 2018.
“After retiring to Philadelphia, I have decided to get my affairs in order. I have read about Wills, Powers of Attorney and Living Wills, but what is estate planning?”
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of making a plan from today until your death, and if done correctly, makes changes that can benefit your heirs long after your death.
Many people mistakenly believe estate planning only involves having a will drafted by a Philadelphia estate planning attorney. While having a will is an important step, a will by itself might not be able to address all of your unique tax and family issues. A proper estate plan involves an examination of your family, any other persons or charities that you may want to benefit at the time of your death. It includes a review of all your assets to see how they can best be structured to meet your plan.
Who Helps You Develop Your Estate Plan?
Depending on what your assets are and their value, to provide the care you want for your family and to reduce taxes substantially, you may choose to involve several professionals besides your estate planning lawyer. You may need the advice of life insurance professionals, financial advisors, real estate managers and specialists with long-term care insurance. A proper estate plan will examine your plans for the rest of your life, including your retirement, and the tax ramifications of your death.
What Documents are Part of An Estate Plan?
Besides a will, other options that are commonly part of an estate plan include an irrevocable life insurance trust, a revocable living trust, or an asset protection trust. Within the will itself, you might use disclaimer trusts or dynasty trusts which provide your spouse and children protection.
It All Begins With The First Step, Making a Call.
Though developing an estate plan might seem a daunting task, once the procedure is completed people feel a great sense of relief. You know that putting your plan needs order. I understand that talking about death and taxes is likely not your idea of a good time. By working with you on this uncomfortable subject there is a good chance that at the end taxes will be avoided. Further, maximize retirement plans and construct protection for your spouse and children. The end justifies addressing what can be an uncomfortable subject.
More Planning Questions?
If you have more estate planning questions, please read my more detailed article, Estate Planning, Everything You Need to Know.
In Conclusion: Who Needs an Estate Plan.
In this article, I tried to answer the question, What is Estate Planning. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website. So, let me know how I did, comments and questions are welcome! I hope it helped!
If you have more questions about wills and estate planning, let our Philadelphia County Estate Planning Lawyers help walk you through the confusing process. Our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. Feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.
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