The new year is the perfect time to start thinking about a meeting with
your Estate Planning Attorney. It’s a good habit to review your
documents every year. If you have experienced any major life changes,
an old Estate Plan can actually be worse than no Estate Plan at all. Remember
to keep your Estate Plan current, updated, and comprehensive.
At a minimum, you need an up-to-date
will and living trust so your estate doesn't pass by intestacy to unintended heirs.
Beyond your will or living trust, you'll need a
durable power of attorney (one for healthcare and one for your financial/legal affairs). You need
someone who can immediately act for you if you become incapacitated. You
also need a living will to spell out the circumstances when you want to
artificially prolong your life. You can see why that's important.
Find a good Estate Planner, particularly if you have a taxable or complex
estate. A good Estate Planner can save you a fortune in estates taxes
(when you die, Uncle Sam will likely be your #1 creditor). A good Estate
Planner will also help you achieve your other Estate Planning objectives,
including many you might have overlooked.
If the claims against you when you die are likely to exceed the value of
your estate, then an Asset Protection Attorney should work with your Estate
Planning Attorney. Together, they may transfer to your heirs as much of
your estate as legally and ethically possible – creditor free.
The Presser Law Firm, P.A. can integrate an Asset Protection Plan with
your existing Estate Plan or work with you to create a new one.