Estate Plan Strategy
Aligning Your Wishes And Your Wealth
Estate plans are often thought of as a one-and-done event. Once an estate plan is built, you’re all set for life. At Strait & Sound, we know that’s not true. Why? Because a decade of life can change a lot of things. If it has been more than a decade since your estate plan was developed, the likelihood is very high that it no longer fully expresses your wishes. This could mean that everything you did to achieve complete financial independence might end up benefitting someone other than those you had in mind.
Truly effective estate plans are comprised of at least five key documents:
- A last will and testament, which expresses how you want your assets divided and who will be the executor of the estate.
- A living trust, which helps your assets avoid probate and some forms of taxation, depending on the state in which you live.
- A durable power of attorney for healthcare, which defines who can make healthcare decisions for you if you are incapacitated.
- A durable power of attorney for property, which defines who can make financial decisions for you if you are incapacitated.
- An advanced healthcare directive, which expresses your wishes to healthcare professionals about how to proceed if your life is at risk and you cannot respond.
Given the complexity of these situations and documents, it’s a good idea to have someone besides your estate attorney or a family member to give them a critical review.