What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of creating a strategy to transfer your assets when you pass away. You estate plan will lay out who you want to receive the assets, what they should inherit, and how that inheritance should be managed. It can also designate who will care for your young children or pets, and describe how you want to be treated in your final days. Depending on your circumstances, your estate plan could include several documents:
- Last Will and Testament - describing inheritances and who you want to be in charge of handling your estate
- Revocable Trusts - allowing your family to receive the benefits of your assets without the hassle of probate
- Irrevocable Trusts - which can help you or your loved ones maintain your assets while avoiding estate taxes and still receiving government benefits
- Designation of Health Care Surrogate - indicates who you want to make medical decisions for you if you are no longer able to make them yourself
- HIPAA Releases - to allow your doctors to talk to your loved ones about your condition
- Living Will - describing how you want to be cared for in your final days