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.