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Irrespective of your age or your net worth, you need to have an estate plan to protect yourself, your loved ones and your assets. Following are some of the documents that may be recommended in your estate plan. A basic understanding of the documents will be helpful as they may be recommended in your plan. 

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Estate Planning

Wills

A will is a legal document that protects your legacy according to your wishes. In the absence of a will, your assets are distributed among your surviving relatives according to state law.  A will has to follow certain guidelines that are established by the state. We can help you customize the provisions of a will that will outline how you wish to distribute your assets, designate  a personal representative (also known as an “executor”) to pay final expenses and taxes, and then distribute your assets, designate a guardian if you have minor children and establish trusts to protect assets. 

Advanced Healthcare Directives

Advanced Healthcare directives are instructions about your health care wishes in the event that you are unable to make decisions. These directives involve appointing an agent to make care and treatment decisions on your behalf.

Unexpected end-of-life situations can happen at any age, so it's important for all adults to prepare these documents. Advance directives are important documents that should be included with each individual's personal medical records.

 Guardianship  

It is extremely important to name a guardian for your child in the event something happens to both the parents. Even though such a scenario is extremely unlikely, it is worth addressing. In the event that you have not made the selection, the court would have to choose someone without any guidance from you.

Revocable vs. Irrevocable Trusts

There are many types of trusts; a major distinction between them is whether they are revocable or irrevocable. 


Revocable Trust: Also known as a living trust, a revocable trust can help assets pass outside of probate, yet allows you to retain control of the assets during your (the grantor’s) lifetime. It is flexible and can be dissolved at any time, should your circumstances or intentions change. A revocable trust typically becomes irrevocable upon the death of the grantor. 


Irrevocable Trust: An irrevocable trust typically transfers your assets out of your (the grantor’s) estate and potentially out of the reach of estate taxes and probate, but cannot be altered by the grantor after it has been executed. Therefore, once you establish the trust, you will lose control over the assets and you cannot change any terms or decide to dissolve the trust.

There are many types of trusts that apply to specific situations. These may include:
• Special Needs Trust
• Charitable Trusts
• Spendthrift Trusts

• Generation Skipping Trusts

 Financial Powers of Attorney  

The durable financial power of attorney is a simple way to arrange for someone to handle your finances.  Commonly, people give their agent broad power to handle all of their finances. But you can give your agent as much or as little power as you wish. Your agent cannot do whatever he or she wants to do, but must act in your best interests.

Trusts

 You establish trusts during your lifetime. Trusts involve the transfer of your property to an individual or corporate trustee who manages the assets within the trust's control for the benefit of one or more others -- the beneficiaries. The purpose of creating a trust can be to obtain professional management and investment of trust property, place conditions on how and when your assets should be distributed and to distribute assets to beneficiaries efficiently and without delay and expense.