An estate plan is one of the most important plans you’ll make while alive. This plan can help secure your future including the future of your loved ones. Should you become incapacitated, your health care power of attorney, a component of an estate plan, will dictate how you want to be cared for.
Without an estate plan, your family and loved ones will pass through several difficulties like the ever-challenging probate process. There will be a lot of law suits, disagreements, and disputes within the family. With an estate plan, your wishes regarding all of your assets will be clear. Let us take a look at what estate planning is:
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is a household name. In several parts of the world, individuals plan their estate to secure or transfer their assets/ wealth to their heirs. With that said, what does estate planning entail? Estate planning is a plan done in anticipation of an individual’s death or incapacitation. The planning includes the transfer of assets to heirs, the payment of unpaid debts, the settlement of estate taxes, etc. Most estate plans are created with the help of an estate planning attorney.
If you reside in Buffalo, NY, and you need an estate plan, don’t hesitate to contact an estate planning attorney Buffalo, NY, for your estate plan.
Estate Planning Documents
To some people, estate planning is all about creating a will. Of course, a will is an important component of an estate plan. However, for an estate plan to be good, it must consist of other documents aside from a will. Common estate planning documents are:
- A will: A will is a document that displays the wish of the estate owner. A will consists of the assets of the estate owner. This document also contains the name of the estate executor, the beneficiaries of the estate, burial arrangements of the estate owner including other important information.
- A Trust: A trust is another effective means of transferring your estate. It is a fiduciary relationship in which you give a party the right to take care of your assets for the benefits of a third part, your beneficiaries.
A trust is another important estate planning document which is usually created for several reasons. With a trust, you can avoid probate, and pass down assets to loved ones easily. There are two types of trusts, a revocable trust and an irrevocable trust.
- Durable power of attorney
It is very important to create a durable power of attorney (POA), so an agent or individual you choose will act on your behalf when you are incapacitated. This individual who will be assigned by you, will make financial and legal decisions for you. Failure to draft a durable power of attorney will give the court the right to decide what happens to your assets if you become mentally incapacitated. I bet this is not something you would want.
A durable power of attorney can give your agent the authority to transact real estate, enter into financial transactions, and make legal choices on your behalf. This type of power of attorney is revocable. That is, the terms of the POA can be altered, changed or modified.
Probate is also a household name as far as estate planning is involved. Probate is usually done to determine the validity or authenticity of a will. After the death of an estate owner, the court chooses either an executor designated in the will or an administrator (if the estate owner failed to draft a will) to administer the process of probate. The probate process involves gathering the assets of a decedent to pay the outstanding debts of the estate owner, and to share the assets of the estate to the designated beneficiaries.
Who is a Probate Lawyer?
A probate lawyer is an individual who is versed in the probate process. A probate lawyer can help you handle the probate process. With the help of this professional, the probate process would be easy, smooth and maybe timely. A probate lawyer can also be of great help to the estate executor and the family of the deceased.
Who is an estate planning lawyer?
An estate planning lawyer is an individual who specializes in handling estate planning matters. These individuals have the knowledge, experience, and resources needed to make a topnotch estate plan. If you want to plan your estate, don’t hesitate to contact an estate planning lawyer Buffalo NY.