WHAT IS ESTATE PLANNING?
Estate planning is important for all of us who want to ensure our loved ones are provided for in the event of our death. Put simply, estate planning is setting up the legal structure behind how your estate will get distributed.
What is an Estate?
An estate is the assets accumulated during a lifetime. It includes real estate, bank accounts, market investments, retirement plans, vehicles, household goods, personal effects and anything else that you own or control such as life insurance or your business.
Estate planning accomplishes three goals.
- To manage your estate during your lifetime.
There may be events in your life such as an accident, chronic illness or a debilitating condition that prevents you from managing your own finances. Anticipating these situations and making calm decisions now rather than under stress will help others make informed decisions on your behalf. If you wait until a critical point in time, it may be necessary to have an expensive and time-consuming court proceeding to designate someone to manage your finances. Creating a Living Will and Establishing Healthcare Power of Attorney are important steps to estate planning.
- To arrange for timely and cost-effective distribution of your estate upon death.
If you have a clear plan of what you have, to whom it goes and in what proportions, that can reduce problems, costs, and taxes, and can ease the burden of your death on your loved ones. The most common way this is done is through a Last Will & Testament.
Probate, the method by which your estate is administered and processed through the legal system after you die, can be overwhelming. A complete estate plan can minimize the probate process. However, probate doesn’t present the same issues in every state. Consult an Estate Attorney in your state to understand your state’s specific laws.
The Benefits of Estate Planning with LegalShield
LegalShield provides you with access to an experienced estate attorney that will help guide you through some of the essentials of estate planning.
Every LegalShield membership comes with preparation of:
- Last Will & Testament
- Living Wills or Advance Directives
- Healthcare Power of Attorney
- Annual Reviews and Updates to your Will
- Trusts (Certain limitations apply. Please contact your provider attorney for details.)
For further information about Legal Shield (becoming a member and the services it offers), visit the following website: