Its helpful to review the estate planning goals of others to help you think through whats most important to you and your family. To that end, were providing the top 8 estate planning goals as we hear them in our estate planning law office.
1. Staying in Control
Our clients say they want to stay in control of their finances, health decisions, and asset distribution during incapacity and at death. They want to avoid court interference and choose who serves as a trusted helper (and who does not.) They want to choose who benefits from their assets during any period of incapacity and after death.
2. Protecting Assets Left for a Spouse
Our clients want to protect the assets they leave for their spouse so that the assets dont go to a new friend, domestic partner, or spouse. They also want to protect the assets in case the spouse suffers financial crisis.
3. Protecting Minor Children
Our clients want to protect their minor children by naming guardians (for incapacity and after death), insuring there are enough assets to raise them, and protecting those assets for their childrens lifetimes.
4. Saving Tax Dollars and Fees
Our clients want to save every last tax dollar and fee possible by using tax planning techniques and avoiding both living and death probates.
5. Protecting Assets Left for Children
Our clients want to protect assets left for their children from creditors, divorcing spouses, addiction, special need spend down, and bad judgment.
6. Avoiding Life Support Machines
Nearly all of our clients want to avoid medical heroics, if they are in an end-stage medical condition.
7. Charitable Planning
Our clients often want to use their estate plan to benefit a charity. Charitable planning is often combined with federal estate tax planning, so its a win/win.
8. Reducing the Burden on Loved Ones
Our clients share the goal of reducing the burden on loved ones should they become incapacitated or die.
If any of these estate planning goals ring true for you, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.
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