Once we assess the type of assets you own through our Family Wealth Worksheet questionnaire, we will better understand your specific risk factors and the level of protection you desire.
We assist our clients in determining the appropriate level of asset protection planning for their particular circumstances.
If you have a business, it is necessary to review how it is set up. Our Small Business Legal Audit is a key first step.
Customized combinations are layered depending on your needs. There are many different strategies to accomplish the protection of your assets while you are alive and after you are gone.
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But did you know that creating (or updating) your estate plan should also be on your post-wedding to-do list?
Last week we started to explore the key estate planning components every newlywed couple needs to protect their rights, wishes, and plans for their assets now and in the future. This week, we’re continuing the conversation with three more estate planning must-do’s for newlyweds. If you missed last week’s blog, be sure to click this link to catch up.
04 | A Living Trust
Are you surprised to see a Trust on our list before a Will? Here’s why a Trust is next on your to-do list. If you are newly married, there’s a strong likelihood that you are relatively young in your life and your career, which means there will be many changes in your assets, family, and wishes as the years go by. Or, you might be re-marrying or getting married later in life and already have a well-established home, financial portfolio, and family that you are now combining with your partner’s life.
With all the joy and happiness a new marriage brings, planning for your potential incapacity and future death may feel out of place, but creating your estate plan as part of your post-nuptial to-do list is the greatest gift you can give your new spouse.
A lot changes once your marriage is official, but how you and your spouse want your finances to be managed or how you would want medical decisions to be made for each other are not automatically documented when you say “I do.”
If you become incapacitated for any reason before your estate plan is complete, your spouse would not have the legal authority to make medical decisions for you even though you’re married. Your loved one would also have no access to your bank accounts, and in the event of your death, could even be put into a position of losing the home and possessions that you owned together.
These group insurance plans provide free legal assistance for a variety of needs from law firms that have contracted with the insurance company to provide the legal work.
While group legal insurance might seem like an easy option to save on your family’s legal needs, it’s often inadequate for creating the kind of estate plan you really need to protect your assets, your choices, and your loved ones. In fact - the type of estate plan, will, or trust created through legal insurance programs could leave your family with a big mess.
Here are the reasons why estate planning for your family demands a heart-centered, counseling-oriented approach and guidance beyond the scope of your group legal insurance coverage. I’ll help you understand the potential pitfalls of using group legal insurance for estate planning and share suitable alternatives to ensure your assets are properly protected and that your loved ones are left with a legacy of love, and not a big mess.
To make sure any big changes in your life are considered in your plan, I recommend reviewing your estate plan with your attorney at least every three years. But if any major life events happen before then, it’s crucial to have your plan reviewed as soon as possible so it can be updated if needed.
Last week, we started to explore 10 life changes that might affect your estate plan. This week, we’re covering five more life events that mean it’s time to review your plan.
06 | You Became Seriously Ill or Injured
A sudden illness or injury can leave you incapacitated and unable to manage your affairs. Therefore, it's essential to review your estate plan to ensure it includes Powers of Attorney for healthcare and finances. These documents let you name someone you trust to pay your bills and manage your assets, as well as make medical decisions for you if you can’t speak for yourself.
It’s also important to include healthcare directives that describe what kind of healthcare you want if you become incapacitated. This can include dietary restrictions or preferences, religious beliefs, or limits to certain treatments or life-sustaining measures. By legally documenting your healthcare choices, your Power of Attorney will feel more comfortable in the role and will be able to make medical decisions for you that align with your wishes.
It seems to be how most lawyers structure their services, so it wouldn’t be surprising if you did think this. You work with your lawyer, they draft documents, you bring them home in a binder or notebook, put them on a shelf or in a drawer, and you never hear from them again. Estate plan, done. But, it’s not, and thinking of it that way could leave your family with a big mess when something happens to you.
In reality, life events can drastically affect your estate plan and even cause your plan not to work in the way you intended. To make sure your plan remains up to date throughout your life, we recommend reviewing your plan at a minimum of every three years. Because I am so passionate about this, I offer to review my clients' plans every three years for free.
And, if any of these 10 life events happen before your three-year plan review, you’ll want to have your plan professionally reviewed right away. Let’s take a closer look at these 10 life events and how they can affect your estate plan and what changes may be required.