Caring for our families in life is essential, and so is planning ahead to ensure that we continue to provide for them when we are gone. The most rudimentary form of estate planning is a will, soomething no individual should be without. In fact, a will is the only way of leaving behind instructions that the living are bound to honor. It also spares your survivors the chore of dividing your estate in your absence.
Many clients use revocable or “living” trusts as part of their estate planning package. Revocable trusts will avoid probate and save your heirs thousands of dollars plus the time and effort necessary to probate a will. Advance medical directives and powers of attorney are also included in the estate planning package.
Parents of children with disabilities may also require “special needs” trusts to protect the child’s government subsidies such as disability and social security income.
Despite the do-it-yourself wills included in many books and software packages, the only certain way to look after your family iin the future is to consult an attorney whose practice includes wills and probate matters in your home state. Laws vary widely from one jurisdiction to another and no one-size-fits-all form can possibly foresee every circumstance.
Estate planning also requires expert help to ensure that your bequest is not consumed by taxes. Stephen A. Gold is experienced in estate and tax planning. His caring and considerate approach can make the task of estate planning a pleasant and rewarding one.