We never know what tomorrow brings, so do not postpone taking care of business now. There are three basic estate planning documents that every adult should have: a will, a power of attorney, and an advance healthcare directive. As the parent of young children, it is especially important that you have thought about who would care for your children if you were unable to do so, and who would manage the money left to them.
As the parent of grown children and/or grandchildren, you need to think about whether you want to leave assets to both generations and, if so, how to protect them until the beneficiaries are old enough to manage them. If you are part of a family involving step children, second marriages or children with special needs, your estate planning decisions are especially important. If you have a taxable estate, there may be some relatively easy ways to avoid estate tax, or you may require some more complex estate tax planning. Whatever your needs, the attorneys at Griffin & Jordan are here to help. Making a responsible estate plan is the best gift you can leave your children.
You should meet with an attorney to discuss and prepare your estate plan. Although there are many different estate planning forms on the Internet, nothing can replace the value of sitting down with someone experienced in this area of the law and having all your questions answered. It is very common for a client to say, during the course of a will interview, “I never thought about that”. At your will appointment, we will ask you many questions about your assets, income, debts, and family make up. Most of the information you give to us is not contained in your will, but it is important for us to know in order to give you the best advice possible. We want to consider whether your family dynamics might have an impact on who should be your power of attorney or the personal representative of your estate.
If we are making recommendations regarding the transfer of assets during your lifetime, we need to know who can be trusted to take care of you should the need arise. If you have a taxable sized estate, we will want to discuss some charitable giving or family trust options to help reduce or avoid estate taxes. We will talk with you about the importance of a power of attorney so that someone can assist you during your lifetime if needed. We will discuss those end of life decisions in connection with your Advance Healthcare Directive.
These are never easy issues to think and talk about, but the experienced attorneys at Griffin & Jordan will help facilitate those discussions and help you make the best decisions possible. It typically only takes two appointments with us to complete this process. Taking care of these important estate planning documents will ease your mind and give you the assurance that you have done your part to make your passing as easy as possible on the loved ones you leave behind.