A well-drafted and complete estate plan will ensure that your family and assets are protected in the event of your incapacity or your death. Though we don’t like to think about these situations, many Americans will be incapacitated at some point during their lifetime. And everyone dies. The best thing you can do for you and your family is to plan! VGK Law is here to help you plan for the expected and the unexpected.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN AN ESTATE PLAN?
A typical estate planning package will consist of the following:
A Living Trust allows your heirs to avoid the expense, delay and public nature of probate court when your gross estate exceeds $150,000. A Living Trust allows your successor trustees to manage your assets for your benefit and the benefit of your loved ones, according to your own detailed instructions. You will name successor trustees to act in the event of your incapacity or death.
A Pour-Over Will accompanies every living trust. It is the document in which you name a legal guardian for your minor child(ren) in the event you become incapacitated or pass away. The Pour-Over Will also enables your successor who will put any omitted assets into your trust after your death.
DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY
A Durable Power of Attorney allows you to name an agent who will be able to exercise certain financial rights in the event you become incapacitated. These rights include filing insurance claims, filing taxes, applying for public benefits and taking distributions from retirement accounts. Your agent will be able to sign legal documents for you.
ADVANCE HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE
An Advance Health Care Directive lets you direct the kind of medical care decisions your health care agent will make on your behalf if and when you can no longer make those decisions. It includes a HIPAA authorization which allows your health care agents to communicate with medical personnel.
When someone you are close to dies, it is an emotional time. We understand that this is a time of grieving and loss and are here to provide compassionate, caring and thorough advice and assistance.
Although a valid living trust avoids probate, your successor trustee will want legal and tax advice about critical and sometimes time-sensitive steps. We represent successor trustees to ensure that they are following state and federal law and handling all the details of such an administration properly. We also represent beneficiaries if there are any questions about, or disputes regarding, the actions of the trustee.