Perhaps you watch commercials about easy and cheap forms to help you write a last will and testament? Perhaps you consider buying a form you complete as a DIY estate plan. TrustandWill and Legalzoom, to name a few, offer quick, cheap fixes. That old adage, “You get what you pay for,” is a good one to consider when you consider a cheap solution for legacy planning. What is legacy planning? Why is it important to work with an estate planning attorney?
What is Legacy Planning?
You may associate legacy planning with financial planning with an advisor. However, it’s a term that is also associated with your estate plan. Legacy Planning is a new phrase for estate planning. Estate planning is a life plan that protects your legacy. It protects you and your assets in case of incapacity. It protects your beneficiaries at time of death. Legacy planning also means asset protection for wealth management for families in a high social economic status. If you want to preserve your legacy, then it’s time to sit down with your estate planning attorney.
Why Prepare a Legacy Plan?
Life happens. For the most part, most people do not think that a worse case scenario will happen to them. Many fail to prepare for major life events or crisis situations. Many put it off until a medical emergency happens or the death of a loved one occurs.
Preparing your legacy plan is an important step to protect your family, your wishes, and your legacy. Instead of filling out your DIY plan, consider sitting down and asking questions and getting answers. Do you have specific distributions? If you give something to your friend, and your friend dies, what’s your contingency plan? What happens if you become incapacitated? What happens to your children if both parents die? How do you protect your child or spouse with a disability? Maybe you own intellectual property to protect.
Parts of an Estate Plan
A legacy plan prepares answers to fit your needs.Your estate plan includes pieces to protect your wishes with a Last Will and Testament, your assets in a living trust, your children, your finances, health care, and end-of-life decisions.
Powers of Attorney
Financial and Health Care Powers of Attorney offers a Client support during a life crisis and incapacity. A living will is important for end-of-life decisions. Living Wills may follow your specific religious beliefs such as a Catholic living will or an Halachic living will. Perhaps you need one to support seniors for dementia or Alzheimer’s.
LAST WILL and Testament
A Last Will and Testament is basic estate planning. A will takes assets titled in one person’s name who died through Probate Court. A Last Will and Testament is a public record of your assets and how you want your estate divided. If you are a parent, a last will and testament names a guardian for your children so that their security and future is one that you decided before a worse-case scenario happens.
THE LIVING TRUST
People mistakenly believe that a living trust is only for the wealthy. That is a myth to bust. A living trust is not solely for wealthy people. The trust is a private document that sets out who inherits your assets. Your legacy and distribution of assets remains private. The trust is not a public record of what you own and who received your assets. A living trust may incorporate a Special Needs Trust for a loved one with a disability. You may also want to disinherit a natural heir-at-law.
Your Plan for Peace of Mind
Working with an estate planning attorney to design your legacy plan is important. Don’t settle. Too often the DIY plan leads to more problems with no solutions at death. It’s a living document to be amended or revoked based on your needs and change of life circumstances. Don’t wait until it’s too late. “Without a Will, Missouri laws dictate who will receive your legacy. It can be that brother or sister or niece you don’t like. No plan is a State plan.” (SJT)
Your Legacy Planning Attorney
Sheri Tucker offers a set complimentary consultation for your estate plan. Don’t settle for a DIY plan for something so important that protects you, your family, and your assets. Call Sheri at 314-332-0011 or Book now for your complimentary consultation.