What is Estate Planning?

Many people have a general idea about estate planning, but don’t always know what estate planning entails and how it can help your situation, your family and your future.

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So what exactly is estate planning?

Estate planning is a process where a person designs a strategy to provide for administration of his assets upon incapacity or death. It also includes putting healthcare documents in place to make end-of-life decisions and allow people of your choosing to make decisions on your behalf, when you cannot.

Estate planning is an incredibly useful tool to plan for your future, your loved ones, and your assets. 

Many people have heard of estate planning tools, such as Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney, but don’t fully understand what they do or how they operate.

A quick summary of these common estate planning tools is as follows:

  1. Will – Simply put, a Will is a written document naming beneficiaries and a personal representative to distribute assets. A Will must be filed with the probate court and go through probate.
  2. Trust – A trust is an arrangement where property is owned and managed by the Trustee. It lists beneficiary designations. Unlike a Will, a Trust will prevent you from going to probate. It offers additional protections from creditors.
  3. Power of Attorney – This is a document that allows a person of your choosing to act in your place for legal and financial matters. There are also Medical Powers of Attorney that allow you to select a person to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.

If you would like more information, contact our office.

And if you need help determining what type of estate planning documents are right for you, contact Rickard & Associates today.

Contact us today to help you get the right documents in place or to update your current estate plan. We will plan so that you don’t have to worry about your future.   

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