What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of establishing who is going to be in charge of your affairs in the event of incapacity or death, who will be involved with your children’s affairs, if applicable, and who will benefit from your estate. Estate planning strategies can take many different forms including Wills, Testamentary Trusts, Living Trusts, Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, Declaration of Guardian, Declaration of Guardian for Children, Directive to Physicians (also known as a Living Will), Appointment of Agent for Disposition of Remains, Transfer on Death Deed, Survivorship Agreement, just to name the most common tools.
Who needs Estate Planning?
Most of our clients are adults between the ages of 35 and 100. However, estate planning can be just as important for a young person as a mature one, particularly when it comes to a Medical Power of Attorney. People tend to focus on taking care of the people or charities they love, but Ramsey Law also focuses on protecting the individual in the event of incapacity. Here are examples of people attorney Amber Ramsey has worked with who benefited from (or could have benefited from) proper estate planning:
Young adult in coma after car accident
Minor children of deceased parent
Only sibling who was not estranged from deceased brother
Widow whose deceased spouse was solely responsible for paying the bills and managing the assets
Parent estranged from all children
Parent whose lifetime gift to child caused Medicaid ineligibility
Child who receives Medicaid lien notice on house after death of parent
Parent with Will written when now-adult child was a baby
Mature couple who prefers to benefit their favorite charities over family
Second marriage spouse concerned about protecting child’s interests
Do I need an attorney?
It’s what you don’t know that will hurt you when it comes to estate planning. So do yourself a favor and hire an estate planning attorney who knows what he or she is doing. Do yourself an even bigger favor and encourage your loved ones to hire an attorney too, because you may be the one dealing with aftermath if it’s not done right.
What does it cost?
This is highly dependent on the situation. There are documents for simple situations and for complicated ones. There are ways to save costs up front or make things simpler in the long run. Typical pricing for our estate planning packages can be found [here].