According to a recent report by CNBC, only 33% of Americans have formulated estate plans. Why? The majority of respondents said they just haven’t gotten around to it.
Estate planning isn’t only for the rich. An estate plan ensures your assets, no matter what size, are preserved and distributed appropriately after your death. Through estate planning, you put your financial, legal, and medical affairs in order.
Objectives Of Estate Planning
Planning an estate is not limited to a specific age, profession, income level, or asset base. It allows you to look closely at your unique circumstances and goals to efficiently plan for the future.
Here are a few objectives you will want to address:
- Preserving the value of your assets
- Avoiding probate
- Reducing unnecessary estate taxes
- Ensuring your heirs receive what you intend for them to receive
- Managing your estate should you become disabled or incapacitated
What Does An Estate Plan Include?
Estate planning includes creating a legal will and naming a Durable Power of Attorney who will take care of your financial estate when you pass. You will also want to establish a medical care power of attorney and directive in case you cannot make your own medical decisions in the future.
If your children are underage, you will want to name a guardian to care for them. If you previously drafted a will or estate plan, you must review the documents periodically to ensure it is up-to-date. Your goal is to minimize as much family friction as possible to avoid legal battles, so revisit your estate plan regularly to include new dependents or other important updates.
Our Estate Planning Services
The estate planning attorneys at Brydon, Swearengen & England provide a full range of trust and estate planning services, including:
- Wills and probate administration, including determination of appropriate probate-avoidance measures
- Establishment and administration of a broad range of trusts, including revocable living trusts, charitable trusts, educational trusts, and minors’ trusts
- Termination of trusts
- Advance planning for healthcare and health-related financial matters, including living wills, healthcare directives, durable healthcare powers of attorney, and durable financial powers of attorney
- Lifetime gift and asset distribution planning
- Concerns specific to privately held businesses and their owners, including transition and succession planning
- Estate and trust disputes and litigation
- Estate administration/probate
Your Next Step
Don’t be among the 67% of Americans who haven’t taken the time to create an estate plan. Protect your children and your assets with expert planning.
If you’re in Jefferson City or the surrounding Missouri region, contact us to set up an appointment with an experienced estate planning attorney. Plan for the future today.