Help Creating Your Estate Plan
There are few things in the legal world where people procrastinate more than in their estate planning. It never seems like an immediate priority; it’s always something to be dealt with in the future. Creating your estate plan is critical to passing on your assets in a way that eliminates confusion and costs for those you love. It is important to create your estate plan as soon as possible.
The first step is to meet with Attorney Joanne Craighead of Craighead & Martin, PLLC. She will take the time to understand your financial situation as well as your goals for your estate plan, and she will help you through every step of the estate planning process to ensure you have a plan that will be accepted as valid by the probate courts and will transfer your assets efficiently.
When you come into the office to begin your estate plan, the process is simple. Joanne discusses your goals and asks questions to understand your situation thoroughly. Then the entire process is explained to you so you know what to expect. This process includes gathering of information, filling out the appropriate forms and legal instruments, and filing all the appropriate paperwork.
She will explain the various possible options for your estate plan and how they might benefit you:
- Wills: The will is the basic estate planning document that transfers basic assets to your loved ones.
- Trusts: A trust is a more complicated, but much more versatile instrument for transferring assets. With a trust, you can control the timing of the transfer, the reason for the transfer (like a trust that transfers assets when someone gets married or graduates from college, for example) and other important details. Trusts can be particularly helpful when transferring real estate interests and other complicated assets.
- Health care directives: Health care directives name someone as an agent to make your end of life health care decisions, and gives specific directions for your health care.
- Financial powers of attorney: A financial power of attorney is similar to a health care directive, only it involves financial matters. In a power of attorney, you name an agent (called an attorney in fact) to handle your financial matters, and you provide specific instructions for how to do so.
These are the primary areas that make up an integrated estate plan. Attorney Joanne Craighead will talk you through all of the options in more detail and make sure you know what you are signing and how your assets will be distributed.