What is Estate Planning, anyways?

Estate planning is commonly misunderstood as something reserved for people with exorbitant amounts of wealth. It is an important process for everyone regardless of the size of your assets. It determines who will be in charge of your affairs if you are unable to handle them yourself at some point during your life, and clarifies who will receive the assets that you have once you’ve passed on.

Durable Power of Attorney & Health Care Directive 

Part of estate planning is making provisions so that one or more trusted family members, friends, or others can handle your affairs should you fall ill or be rendered incapable for some other reason. Durable power of attorney is an important document that refers to your legal and financial affairs.Similarly, a health care directive refers to your medical and health-related affairs.

The Will

A will is important as it outlines who will receive your assets once you’re gone. Without one, the decision of to whom or where your assets go is beyond your control. The will is also important as it enshrines whom you have chosen to take of your charge affairs, rather than leaving the possibility of conflict amongst relatives up to chance.

Revocable Trust

Another estate planning tool to consider using is a revocable trust, “revocable” because it can be changed. It is particularly useful for individuals with young children who may require advice and supervision until they are old enough to manage inherited assets independently. A revocable trust also enables people to avoid having their homes or bank accounts tied up in “probate” for many months. Probate is the court-supervised process of transferring your assets from your name to those who will inherit your estate. It can become quite expensive and complex.

Better Sooner than Later

Estate planning can be tailored to your situation, regardless of the size of your assets or the complexity of your needs. Without it,the consequences will undoubtedly be more expensive and time-consuming than the estate planning process itself. Better safe than sorry, and better to start planning sooner than later.

Estate Planning Services You Can Trust: Cohen & Burnett

For over 25 years, the professionals at Cohen & Burnett have provided estate planning and administration, asset protection planning, and trustee and executor services in and around Washington, D.C. To explore your options, visit our homepage or contact us today.

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