Why Do I Need an Estate Plan?

estate planning

Planning your estate gives you peace of mind that your property will go to the people you want, in the ways that you wish. It also lets your loved ones celebrate your life without being burdened with confusing financial details or red tape after your death.

Some kind of estate plan is almost always a good idea for several reasons. 

    • Estate planning allows you to control how your assets will be distributed to your beneficiaries and when they are to receive property from you during your lifetime or from your estate after your death. Every state has rules for what happens when someone dies without a Will or trust (called “intestacy”), but the result under those rules might not be what is best for you or your family. Therefore, it is important to express testamentary wishes clearly and in writing to make sure the right property goes to the right beneficiaries. 

    • Estate planning allows you to appoint the person or persons who will have the responsibility of administering your Will or Trust and thereby provide you with the peace of mind that the individual who is responsible for winding up your affairs is someone you trust. 

    • If you have minor children, estate planning allows you to appoint the persons responsible for your children’s care and for the administration of the assets you designate for your children’s benefit if you die before they reach adulthood. 

    • Estate planning can help mitigate the impact of taxes on your estate. 

In addition to drafting legal documents, we provide guidance on other important estate planning considerations such as tax implications, probate proceedings, and long-term care planning. We can also assist with the establishment of power of attorney and healthcare directives, which can provide critical decision-making authority in the event of incapacity.

What is Included in an Estate Plan?

Effective estate plans should include a durable power of attorney and a will. A durable power of attorney is an estate planning instrument intended for managing your property in case you become incapacitated in some way while you are alive.  A power of attorney can provide inexpensive insurance in the event of incapacity as a result of illness or accident, regardless of age.

A will is an estate planning instrument for the management and distribution of your property after death. A revocable (or “living”) trust is another estate planning instrument that many people use to avoid probate and manage their estates during life and after death. 

Personal Questions to Consider When Planning Your Estate

Quinn, Racusin & Gazzola Chartered is available to guide you through the details of estate planning. The questions below are useful to consider when planning your estate.

    • Do any of my family members have special needs?

    • Are there tax considerations?

    • What are my intentions?

    • How best to accomplish them?

    • Whom should I select as my agent/fiduciary?

    • What are my wishes concerning certain medical/health situations?

    • Whom do I trust as guardian for my children?

    • Would a trust be beneficial to me?

    • At what age should my minor children receive an inheritance?


Patrick Klemz

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