Estate planning will benefit you and your family and loved ones in several ways. It will allow you peace of mind during your lifetime to know that you have planned for the future of your chosen heirs and beneficiaries in a carefully thought out distribution plan. Estate planning is also critical in that it allows you to select the right person to be charge of your affairs if you ever become incapacitated as well as to follow your instructions and directions after your death. Most estate plans are set up with the help of an attorney experienced in conservatorship and probate law.
One of the key goals in estate planning is to create a well drafted plan so that there is never the need to go to Court, either during a period of incapacity, and definitely after death. Certain legal instruments are available to avoid costly conservatorship and/or probate proceedings.
Some of the major estate planning tasks include:
– Creating an estate plan that will avoid Probate and Conservatorship proceedings which involve substantial attorneys fees, court costs, and judicial management
– Limiting exposure to Estate Taxes
– Naming your beneficiaries and designing a preferred distribution plan to avoid intestate succession (distribution by statute)
– Nominating an administrator who will follow the terms of your estate plan which you personalized
– Preparation of a Financial Durable Power of Attorney to implement your estate plan
– Preparation of an Advanced Health Care Directive wherein you will appoint a trustworthy and capable person to act as your agent in making health care decisions on your behalf. Said individual will also have been pre-directed as to your wishes relating to independent living and end of life decisions.