Why Estate Planning?
“Estate” does not equate to wealthy. Your estate is comprised of everything you own; your home, car, furniture, all your worldly possessions, your bank and investments accounts, retirement funds, life insurance. No matter how large or small, we all have an “estate” and we can’t take it with us.
If you do not have an estate plan or will, the state has one for you, and you probably will not like it. Your assets will be distributed according to probate laws, which vary from state to state. If you are married and have children the state will divide up your assets and may not leave enough for your spouse to survive on. Claims may be made against the estate which may delay any distribution and also lessen the settlements you had hoped for your spouse, children or preferred heir.
Estate Planning is for Everyone
Estate planning is not just for the wealthy, the more modest your assets the more likely a good plan is needed to avoid unnecessary losses of meager assets.
Estate planning is usually considered when we are close to retirement, but since we don’t know how long we will live it is best to plan early in life. Wills, trusts and estate plans can be edited from time to time based on changing needs and lives.
Estate Planning Details
Here are some often used planning documents:
- Last Will & Testament
- Trusts (All Types)
- Powers of Attorney
- Health Care Directives
- Deeds (All Types)
- Premarital Agreements
- Funeral & Burial Instructions
Take the first step. Contact the Law Offices of Paul Scott for a no-cost consultation.
Find out what Paul can do for you to help protect your loved ones in the event of your passing.
Settling an Estate
The death of a loved one is difficult enough to deal with, but now comes the task of settling financial and contractual commitments. This is primarily done through probate, a legal process administered through the court system. It includes:
- Proving that the deceased persons will is valid
- Appraisal of any property
- Paying debts and taxes
- Distribution of remaining assets