No matter your age, it is always wise to have an estate plan. Life is unpredictable, and the death or disability of a member of your family can leave you reeling emotionally as well as have devastating financial consequences. If you have not left a Will or Trust with specific instructions for your assets after you pass, they will be at risk of being distributed according to law rather than per your specific wishes. You need a trusted estate planning attorney who will work with you to make sure there is a plan in place for the benefit of your family. Kyrsten is that lawyer. Don’t wait until it is too late. Start the estate planning process today.
In many instances, a Revocable Living Trust is the answer to your estate planning needs. A Trust allows you to have more control over your assets after death and has the added benefit of avoiding probate. For some people, executing a Will rather than a Trust is a good decision. Kyrsten will go through your options with you and help you decide which is right for you.
In addition to a Will or Trust, you need to have an Advanced Healthcare Directive and Powers of Attorney in place. Durable Powers of Attorney will allow the person of your choosing to manage your finances in the event you are unable to do so.
An Advanced Healthcare Directive ( also called a Medical Power of Attorney or a Patient Advocate Designation) provides directions for your loved ones with regard to the care you prefer to receive and the life sustaining measures you wish to be taken. These decisions are hard to make and can lead to disagreements among family members. Having an Advanced Healthcare Directive in place eliminates those concerns. These documents should always accompany a Revocable Living Trust and/or a Will, as neither a Will nor a Trust alone is sufficient to cover all of your needs. Additionally, a Will and Trust only become effective upon your death, while Powers of Attorney and Advanced Healthcare Directives are for use while you are living.
The disability of a loved one causes not only pain, but stress, fear and confusion for family members and friends. A lot of that stress can be reduced by preparing for the possibilities. Being prepared also gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that everything is in order if needed.
Estate Planning is important because, without it, the laws of the state determine who receives your property, makes your medical decisions and has control of your finances. You know best who to trust and should make sure that you have documents in place to let the Court know your preferences.
When you create your estate plan, you can make changes and decisions that allow many assets to pass to the recipient of our choosing without the need to open a probate estate. There are times, however, when you have no choice but to open a probate estate, which often happens when the person who has died had no estate planning in place. Opening a probate estate may also be necessary when the deceased owned assets that could not pass to another person without a court order.
It is usually possible to probate a small estate via what is called an “unsupervised administration” or informal proceeding. Conversely, there are times when it is appropriate to ask for a “supervised administration” or formal proceeding. Kyrsten will help you determine which one suits your needs. Once it is determined which route woks best for you, Kyrsten will help you through the process.
There are many steps, and lots of paperwork, involved in opening and administering an estate. Kyrsten can help you navigate those steps, alleviate some of the pressure on you and allow you to focus on processing the loss of your loved one.