Estate Plan FAQ

An estate plan is important because it allows you to control how your assets are distributed and to express your health concerns. The lack of will or estate plan will cause an intestate distribution to take based upon state law.

Typically, intestate law divides the decedent's estate between the surviving spouse and living children; however, many people are surprised by the actual division made by state law. Even if the decedent does not have children, the spouse generally will not inherit the entire estate. Moreover, because your children are minors, the court will require a fiduciary (e.g., a guardian or trustee) to be appointed to receive and manage that property the children inherit. This can be a cumbersome and expensive process, requiring court supervision throughout the time the children are minors.

Perhaps most importantly, an estate plan gives you the opportunity to designate a guardian for your children if your spouse does not survive you. It allows you have better insight than a court into which of your relatives or friends will best be able to care for your children, both emotionally and financially. Your estate plan can put this designation in place, and provided financial stability for your children

An Estate plan can also simplify and remove family tension in the probate process for your survivors. For example, there can be lower like hood that probate fight will ensue if valid will is in place before your passing, so that your children will not be fighting over your assets. An estate plan can also address your long term care health needs and the issue of critical care with a living will. Making your intentions clear about your health care concerns will reduce stress within your family For example, you can designate a health care agent to make health care decisions about your treatment and hospitalization in accordance with your wishes and instructions.

Planing for your estate will allow you potential to advantage of estate tax savings which would protect your wealth for the next generation. If you have any questions please call me at my office.