Estate Planning is more than “Death Planning”

Posted on July 21, 2014

by Margie Connolly

Estate planning clients usually come to an attorney to eliminate taxes, avoid probate and provide for their family. We attorneys routinely help our estate planning clients achieve all of these goals. Most people, when they initially sit down with us, only see estate planning as death planning. But planning for your death is only half of the problem. The other, potentially more critical part, is disability planning. With proper disability planning, if you cannot make your own decisions because of an accident of illness, your bills can be paid, your assets can be managed, and your health care decisions can be made by the people you love and trust the most.

Unfortunately, whether you are married or single, faulty and inadequate estate planning often results in a judge stepping in; the family then loses a large measure of a very precious commodity: CONTROL. Estate planning attorneys not only focus on disability and death, but also strive to maximize your control during your lifetime and the control you want your loved ones to have at the time of your death.

In addressing both death and disability concerns, attorneys have a toolbox full of proven legal techniques to help your family reach all of your goals. These include Revocable Living Trusts, Wills, Financial and Medical Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, Designations of Guardians for minor children and Special Needs Trusts for families with special children.

Probate often comes with a substantial amount of legal, financial and emotional costs.  With careful estate planning clients can avoid it.