Estate Planning is a multi-faceted and individualized legal practice where no two plans are the…
According to a recent survey during the pandemic1 , younger Americans (age 19-34) were more likely to have a Will than their older counterparts (age 35-54) to protect themselves and their loved ones from otherwise uncontrollable risks. Despite estate planning being for everyone, 2 out of 3 adults still don’t have any estate planning.
There are many documents available for estate planning purposes depending on your goals, and an experienced estate planning attorney can typically develop a plan customized to your wishes after an introductory meeting and review of your current assets. A Will is the most common document used in estate planning to direct the division of property and bank accounts, establish guardianship if needed, and more. A Will can be paired with a Revocable Trust to provide certain protections and ensure the estate remains private outside of those administering it upon death. Revocable Trusts may not make sense for every individual, especially those under a certain threshold for assets, so it is important to discuss your specific circumstances with an attorney.
Advanced Directives include Powers of Attorney for Health Care and Property, and a Living Will which establish management of property and health care in the instance you become incapacitated. Pairing a Will and/or Revocable Trust with Advanced Directives ensures protection during a period of life while you are unable to handle your own affairs and upon your death.
As you research options available for creating your estate plan, beware of online legal resources. You may end up with a plan that doesn’t provide enough or the type of protection you desire, or you can end up with unnecessary documents. Despite claims made by certain legal programs, it is best to have your estate plan reviewed by a licensed attorney within the state you reside. An attorney is also able to provide you with other resources, so you are better informed about managing your assets including estate tax experts and financial advisors.