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The Four Elements of Estate Planning

Posted on in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning lawyerWhen most people are asked about the concept of estate planning, they immediately think about a will and how it can be used to determine what will happen to a person’s assets and property upon his or her death. A will is certainly one of the cornerstones of a comprehensive estate plan, but on its own, a will is not always enough. There are four major elements of estate planning, and an experienced attorney can help you address each one properly.

Protecting Your Property During Your Lifetime

While estate planning is largely focused on what will happen after you die, the process also includes ensuring you have enough financial security to live out the rest of your life as you see fit. Investment strategies and savings, of course, are important, but you may also want to take steps toward protecting your family business or income-generating real estate holdings. You should also consider assigning power of attorney for property to a trusted person who can make decisions regarding your affairs in the event that become incapacitated and unable to make such choices for yourself.

Planning for Your Health

Estate planning also includes making provisions for your own health and medical care as you look ahead at the rest of your life. You have the right to decide what treatments you do and do not wish to receive. Your wishes can be documented in an advance medical directive—such as a living will—and should be communicated to your doctor. A power of attorney for health care may also be helpful so that a trusted person can be sure your wishes are carried out even if you are not able to make health-related decisions for yourself.

Your Children

If you have young children, the estate planning process can be even more difficult, as it is hard to imagine them growing up without you in their lives. On the other hand, your children deserve to have every opportunity to succeed, and you have the ability to make provisions for their welfare in your estate. In your will, you can appoint a guardian to care for your children until they become adults. Of course, you may also want your children to receive a portion of your estate, but they may not be old enough or mature enough to handle finances. You can also select a person to manage the financial affairs of your children in the event that something happens to you.

Dividing Your Property

Finally, we come to the element of estate planning that is most familiar—naming beneficiaries and determining their inheritances. There are many tools that you can use to establish who will receive what, including your will, living trusts, special needs trusts, and others. It is also important to select executors and trustees who are willing and able to manage your estate when you are gone. They will be responsible for dividing your property among your chosen beneficiaries, so it is imperative to choose people you can trust.

We Can Help

Nearly every concern related to estate planning will fall under one of these four categories, and some may overlap to an extent. At A. Traub & Associates, we realize that the estate planning process can be challenging at times, especially for those complex property holdings. Fortunately, our experienced Lombard estate planning lawyers have the knowledge and skill to guide you every step of the way. Call 630-426-0196 for a confidential consultation today.

 

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/key-elements-estate-planning-1289907

http://www.newarkadvocate.com/story/money/business/2017/08/19/four-things-consider-estate-planning/104414206/

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