One of the biggest misconceptions about Estate Planning is that it is a something that only the exceedingly wealthy need. It is true that many of the wealthiest Americans use Wills and Trusts as a vehicle to minimize their estate tax liability. However, there are many practical benefits that every person can enjoy from creating an estate plan.
A properly crafted Estate Plan offers one a wide range of benefits outside of minimizing ones’ tax liability. It allows one to take control and determine what they want done with their assets, who they trust to make decisions for them, and better ensure that their medical care is based on their own instructions. Failing to have one not only potentially exposes yourself to certain avoidable tax issues (should they apply to you) but also invites judicial oversight into many personal and family driven dynamics in your life. Given the fact that most individuals tend to have strong feelings about their health care or who they want (or do not want) to inherit from their estate, an Estate Plan can be an empowering way to memorialize your wishes.
A properly drafted Estate Plan should be composed of at least three components:
Each document plays a separate and critical role in your Estate Plan.