Archive for the Estate Planning Category

What is Estate Planning?

Occasionally prospective clients say to me: “I don’t need an estate plan, I just need a Will.”  I know they say that because of what the term “estate” has come to mean.  When most people think of an estate, they think of  a mansion on a large property with a wall and a gate.  So if you don’t have an estate, you don’t need estate planning.  Actually that is true!

But you do have an estate.  You estate is what you own and control.  What is in your estate?  Your stuff and money.  A house, car, furniture, clothes, collectibles, bank and investment accounts, stocks, bonds, retirement funds and life insurance.  Everything you own.

Estate planning is writing down a plan to say what happens to your stuff and money if you become too ill to handle your own affairs or if you pass away.  You also get to plan in advance for what happens to you during an illness.

Estate planning uses Wills and Trusts to plan for what happens to your stuff and money after death.  Living Trusts, Powers of Attorney and Living Wills are your plan for when you are too ill to act for yourself.

Now you know what an estate plan is.  I think that is reason enough to celebrate!