What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the general process by which an individual plans for the distribution and management of his or her estate through the use of wills, trusts, life insurance and other arrangements to minimize administrative costs and tax liability upon incapacity and death. An estate plan also provides a plan to manage your healthcare during incapacity, as well as who will care for your minor children.
Who Needs an Estate Plan?
If you own assets of any kind — a home, investments, life insurance, or other possessions — then you have an “estate” and need an estate plan. Your estate plan designates who will inherit your property and ensures that your children and loved ones will be taken care of in accordance with your wishes.
If you have minor children or are planning to have children, an estate plan is essential. Having a quality estate plan is one of the best things you can do for the ones you love.
What’s the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?
During your initial consultation, your TuckerAllen attorney will explain the differences and help you decide which may be right for you. The image below may also help guide your decisions. For pricing information on our will and trust packages, please click here.
What is included in your Estate Planning Packages?
This grid provides a brief overview of the documents within each package.
|Will Package||Trust Package|
LAST WILL & TESTAMENT
A Last Will & Testament provides instructions to the probate court indicating your exact wishes about who will care for your children, who is in charge of implementing your wishes (your executor) and how your property will be distributed. Your will and all other documents filed with the probate court will be public record.
REVOCABLE TRUSTA Revocable Trust accomplishes everything that a will does, but with the distinct advantage of avoiding the probate court process. “Revocable” means that you retain control over your finances, possessions, and wishes during your lifetime. At any time, you can change your mind by amending or even revoking your Revocable Trust.
POUR-OVER WILLA Pour-Over Will is used in conjunction with a revocable trust. It acts as a safety net to ensure that any property not transferred into your trust during your lifetime “pours into” it upon your death.
FINANCIAL POWER OF ATTORNEYA Financial Power Of Attorney gives the person you designate the power to handle your financial decisions, such as paying your bills or filing your taxes.
HEALTHCARE DIRECTIVE (LIVING WILL)A Healthcare Directive tells your physician and family the extent of medical care you wish to receive if you are unable to communicate these things yourself.
MEDICAL POWER OF ATTORNEYA Medical Power of Attorney gives the person you designate the legal authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
HIPAA RELEASEA HIPAA Release gives your physician permission to discuss your personal medical information with the person you have granted your medical power of attorney, as well as any others whom you may choose to designate.
DEEDFiled with the Recorder of Deeds, a deed avoids the probate court process and transfers title to your property to your designated beneficiary (including your revocable trust) either immediately or upon your death. Your real estate remains titled in your name during your lifetime, and you’re always free to change or revoke your beneficiary deed.
An initial estate planning consultation with an attorney is complementary. Your attorney will help you decide what documents or packages you need. We offer published, flat-rate pricing for almost every estate planning service, and guardian and conservatorships at an hourly rate. View our complete pricing list here .
We also offer a 12-month, zero-interest payment plan for estate planning documents. Learn more about the additional terms and conditions.