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Do not do this online or alone. These are some of life’s most difficult decisions. You need a trusted advocate. Gary offers expert guidance and honest advice, giving each issue the attention and sensitivity it deserves. He gives you all the information you need to make the best, most well informed decisions for you and your family.  It is easy to make estate planning mistakes without meaning to.

You will have peace of mind, comfort, and assurance that your legal rights are being protected.

Estate Planning in General

Estate Planning - Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney

What is a good estate planning definition?  Wikipedia defines it like this:  Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person’s life, for the management and disposal of that person’s estate during the person’s life and at and after death, while minimizing gift, estate, generation skipping transfer, and income tax.

Estate planning in general is more than just getting your affairs in order and deciding who gets your hard earned wealth.

It is also providing management of your assets even if you should become incapacitated.

Estate planning goals include

  1. A smooth, easy, fight free transition to the next generation
  2. Protection for you, your family, your health, and your wealth during your lifetime
  3. A labor of love
  4. A sharing of family history
  5. A sharing of your values
  6. Sharing family legacy

Naturally, you want to what’s best for you and your family, don’t you.  Secrets of Excellent Estate Planning helps you do just that.  Most people want to have the best plan they can.  Secrets of Excellent Estate Planning tells you 37 mistakes you must avoid in your plan to do the best you can for you and your family.  CLICK HERE to get your copy.


How to Get Started

These tips will help you get started.

Perhaps one of the best ways to get started with your plan is to start listing and organizing a list of all you own.  You can use a notebook, checklist, worksheet, or even a workbook provided by your lawyer.

Throughout the process your lawyer will be providing resources and tools and answering your questions as you get your life more organized than it has probably ever been.  These resources may contains forms in a guide in pdf or a kit the law firm has put together.

But perhaps the most important job of your lawyer is to provide for your education in estate planning essentials.  This education can stop you from making many mistakes.

Definition – What is Estate Planning?

In General

The Costs of Planning – Now & Later

The Biggest Hurdles

The Documents, POA, etc.

 

Wills

 

A Last Will and Testament is not a probate avoidance device. 

A Last Will and Testament does not protect you during your lifetime.

A Last Will and Testament only goes into effect after you pass.  As a matter of fact, a Last Will and Testament requires probate to be valid.  A Will is completely ineffective until Probate.  A Will is the instrument of Probate.  Probate is required to make the Will stand up and be followed.  Court and judges are required.

Your Will is like a letter to the Court telling the Court how you want your property distributed.  Then somebody must make sure that the will is proved to the Court, that all your property is collected and appraised, and all your bills and taxes are paid, before your property can be distributed to your heirs.

More About What a Last Will and Testament Is?

Difference Between a Will and a Trust

 

Trusts

What is a Trust?  The “Bucket” Analogy

A trust is a bucket you put assets into.  Somebody gets to hold the handle and control the bucket.  That is the trustee.  The person who put stuff into the bucket is the grantor.  The person who gets to “play” with the stuff in the bucket is the beneficiary.

Along with the stuff, you put a set of instructions that anybody else who holds the handle must follow.

Advantages of a Trust

If you understand the advantages of a trust first, then you really don’t need to understand the inner workings.  It’s like a clock.  You can either understand how to tell time, or understand how the clock works.  Only a watchmaker really needs to know both.  Like the watchmaker, attorneys need to know how trusts work and what the final result is.  You need to understand what a trust can do for you.

The advantages of having a trust are many and are presented here in no particular order.

Trusts avoid probate.  All of the assets in a trust are not subject to probate.

Trusts protect children with special needs.  A trust can be setup to supplement public benefits while not destroying their eligibility for benefits.

Trusts protect children with substance abuse problems.  You can setup a trust to pay for their living expenses directly, making sure they have a safe place to live, but not give them enough money to make their habit worse.

Trusts protect your assets and property now and later.

Trusts make sure that your children don’t squander the money.  Trusts can provide for higher education while preserving assets.  You can setup a trust to pay landlords, schools, and bills directly while providing an entertainment and food allowance to your children.

Trusts leave you in control now and later.  You can continue to manage your money and other assets long after you are gone.  You can “attach strings” and conditions to spending the money.

Trusts protect your financial rights.

Trusts leave instructions on how to manage and distribute your assets.  That is, how to invest and spend your hard earned money now and later on.

Trust – What it is

Revocable Living Trust

Revocable vs. Irrevocable Trust

Successor Trustees – How to Pick a Successor

Difference Between a Will and a Trust

When Should I Create a Trust?

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney gives another person the legal right to make financial and legally binding decisions for you, within the limits you set.

A power of attorney is a legal document that gives a trusted third party the legal authority to:

  1. Make financial decisions for you
  2. Make legal decisions for you
  3. When written properly, deal with the IRS, open mail, enter lock boxes, and much more

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows another person to “step into your shoes” when it comes to legal and financial matters.

You, the person that signs the Power of Attorney is the principal.  The person who acts for you is called the agent or attorney-in-fact.  There is a legal relationship between the two of you.

More About a Power of Attorney…

Power of Attorney Agent (attorney-in-fact)

 

Estate Planning Attorneys

Why and When Plan

Naturally, you want to what’s best for you and your family, don’t you.  Secrets of Excellent Estate Planning helps you do just that.  Most people want to have the best plan they can.  Secrets of Excellent Estate Planning tells you 37 mistakes you must avoid in your plan to do the best you can for you and your family.  CLICK HERE to get your copy.