Estate Plan Navigator

None of us can predict the future, but estate planning allows us to anticipate the possibilities and order our lives accordingly. Specifically, estate planning allows individuals to plan for how their assets will be managed and distributed in life and even after their death. The goal of estate planning? Ensuring your wishes are fulfilled, your loved ones are taken care of, and your legacy secured, no matter what.

American Dream

You have worked long and hard to achieve the American Dream and your family deserves to be taken care of.

Your Family

Captain your own ship and anchor an Estate Plan to protect what's most important to you - your family.

Do I Need An Estate Plan?

That’s a common question we often get asked. Here is a basic checklist of things to think about if you’re still wondering whether you need an Estate Plan (hover over each icon)

Estate Planning Consideration

Do you have children?

Estate Planning Consideration

Do you own real estate in the US?

Estate Planning Consideration

Do you own combined assets of $150,000+?

Estate Planning Consideration

Do you have life insurance?
If you answered YES to any of these, you need an estate plan!

What Is An Estate Plan

An Estate Plan allows you to get your financial and health care affairs in order.
It is comprised of four main documents, which make up your entire Estate Plan.
LIVING REVOCABLE TRUST

A legal document that contains instructions for what you want to happen to your assets when you die. A living trust avoids probate at death, controls all of your assets, and allows you to reduce or eliminate estate taxes. One of the main advantages of a revocable living trust is that it gives the creator the ability to undo or alter the terms of the trust.

Wills

If you have a living trust, your will is known as a “pour-over will” that does two things. First, it tells the world that your trust controls how your assets will be distributed. Second, if you have children under 18 years of age, your “pour-over will” allows you to designate guardians for those minors.

FINANCIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY

Empower someone you trust to manage your financial affairs if you are unable to do so due to mental incapacity. With a Financial Power of Attorney in place, the people you nominate will be able to step into your shoes if/when you become incapacitated without Court involvement. Without this, your spouse or loved ones will have to petition the Court through a time consuming and costly process known as a Conservatorship in order to get power over you.

HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE

In case of a medical emergency or a terminal illness, your Health Care Directive will give your loved ones the power to deal with hospitals, while carrying out your wishes as set forth in the document. There is a HIPPA release in the document which will allow your medical providers to release your medical information to the people you nominate as your health care Agents. This document prevents your loved ones from seeking a health care Conservatorship through the Court.

Why Do I need An Estate Plan?

Probate is a court-supervised formal proceeding which transitions assets from you to your legal heirs. This process is often time consuming and very costly. Basically, an Estate Plan ensures your assets go directly to your loved ones, instead of getting stuck in probate court.

Probate triggering assets are classified as

  1. Taxable Bank Account (checking, savings and brokerage accounts)
  2. Real Estate

Why should I avoid probate court?

  1. It can take two years to get through, but it can drag on for longer.
  2. Probate fees can be anywhere between 4% and 8% of the fair market value of your estate.
  3. Creditors are free to invite themselves to probate court in order to collect outstanding debts.
  4. Your children or legal heirs could lose it all if they are not of mature age.

Probate is a court-supervised formal proceeding which transitions assets from you to your legal heirs. This process is often time consuming and very costly. Basically, an Estate Plan ensures your assets go directly to your loved ones, instead of getting stuck in probate court.

Where Do I Start?

Use the form below or call us to make an appointment. For further reading on special cases or to better understand Estate Planning, follow the links below:

Establish Guardians for your Children
Choosing the Right Trustee
Estate Planning for Non-Residents and Non-Citizens
Common Estate Planning Errors

Ready For My Estate Plan

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