Most people are living busy daily lives, and not everyone is thinking about having a comprehensive estate plan in place; but not having one or the right estate planning assistance, can have dire consequences.
Although many people are aware that singer, songwriter, Prince died on April 21, 2016, what they may not know, is that Prince died without a Will or an Estate Plan. Prince died Interstate (without a Will) and without leaving instructions for whom he wanted to bequeath his estate to after his death. Sadly, two years after his death, Prince’s estate was still being litigated in Probate Court, and no heirs had yet received any distributions from the estate valued at an estimated $300 million dollars.
Whether you have a large estate like Prince’s, or a more modest one, every individual and family should have an estate plan in place. A comprehensive estate plan generally consists of several key documents, which are discussed below, that will not only secure your wishes are honored after death, but that will also protect you, your assets and property during your lifetime. Consult with an experienced our wills and trust attorney to ensure that the right documents have been properly executed for your specific circumstances and to ensure that your wishes are honored at critical moments of your life.
Four key documents in an Estate Plan Portfolio:
A Will is a legal document (if executed properly), which leaves instructions for how you want your property and assets to be divided and distributed to your heirs or beneficiaries after your death. Although these decisions may seem simple at first glance, many people have a number of legal questions concerning the property or assets they wish to leave to others after their death. Consult with an experienced wills and trust attorney to ensure that all of your questions have been answered before making any major decisions regarding your Will.
#2. Living Trust:
A living trust is a legal document that allows you to transfer your assets and property into a Trust, while maintaining benefit and control of the trust and its assets during your lifetime. Upon your death, the assets and property in the trust will seamlessly be transferred and distributed to your heirs and/or beneficiaries without the need for Probate Court involvement.
#3. Power-of-Attorney and/or Durable Power-of-Attorney:
A Power-of-Attorney is a legal document that allows you to give another person consent and authority to act on your behalf in a variety of legal capacities, including the authority to make financial, medical and other important decisions. A general power-of-attorney is valid until the granting party revokes the power-of-attorney in writing, or upon his/her incapacity. A Durable Power-of Attorney is similar except that it remains valid after a person’s incapacity and is generally a part of a comprehensive estate plan.
#4. Advance medical Healthcare Directive:
An Advanced Healthcare Directive is a legal document that allows you to give specific instructions regarding your health care and medical treatment in the event that you become incapacitated. Our estate planning attorney, David J. Brazgel meets with his clients and goes through each of their needs to ensure that they have the right protections in place when they need it most.
At The Mlnarik Law Group, Inc., we create personalized estate plans and trust documents that give our clients confidence knowing that their major decision making has been accomplished and formalized through an experienced estate planning law firm. Estate planning lawyer David J. Brazgel provides you with knowledgeable insights and experienced estate planning assistance, or if you have a contested case, representation in probate court. Contact The Mlnarik Law Group, Inc., by email today to make your appointment with David.