Benjamin Franklin wrote "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." This observation runs true to this day. Estate planning takes these into consideration and provides people the ability to safeguard the that which is most important to them - their loved ones and their assets - for present and future generations.
There are many reasons for estate planning beyond minimizing taxes, the commonly thought reason for estate planning. Proper planning provides guardians and financial support for children and other individuals when one is no longer capable of doing so oneself. Proper planning allows assets to be distributed according to an individual's wishes during the individuals life and after the individual's death. Proper planning allows trusted third parties to make important health and financial decisions for an individual if an individual is incapable of making such decisions. Proper planning provides privacy of an individual's important information and can minimize costs of administering a deceased's estate.
Wills, the most commonly known estate planning tool, allow an individual to specify how all their assets which have not already passed on to others as a matter of law (probate estate) are distributed. A will allows the person creating the will to name an executor responsible for handling the individuals final expenses and for distributing the probate estate. A will also allows the individual to specify guardians to take care of any minor children and to handle financial matters for the children until the children reach the age of majority.
Another common estate planning tool is the trust. A trust is a separate legal entity which holds property for the benefit of others. An individual can transfer assets into a trust after which the assets are no longer in the individual's probate estate. The assets are passed on to the beneficiaries of the trust automatically upon the death of the individual. The ability to distribute the assets from a trust are extremely flexible. A trust can also provide credit protection for the beneficiaries.
A highly probable occurrence in an individual's life is medical conditions that cause the individual to lack the capacity to make their own medical and financial decisions. A power of attorney provides the individual to name an agent to make these decisions on behalf of the individual according to the individual's wishes.
All individuals are unique and have their own specific issues and concerns regarding their estate planning. The Law Offices of Ravi K. Nigam reviews each client's situation thoroughly and provides customized estate planning solutions. Contact us to discuss your situation and what option will best fit your situation. We take great pride and care in providing highly quality affordable legal services. Our attorneys provide a free legal consultation to discuss your needs and what options are available to you.