We believe our role as financial planners is to help you understand your need for a proper estate plan, assist you in working with an attorney that fits your situation, and ensuring that the estate documents that you’ve had prepared are properly implemented.
Understanding Your Need
As your financial planners, we have the knowledge about your family and your finances required to help you understand the level of estate planning that is needed. We often find that reviewing the types of tools an attorney utilizes (wills, trusts, powers of attorney, etc.) before meeting with the attorney is very helpful. Below is some basic information on some of the most common tools in estate planning.
Will — What it is, how it works and what happens if you die without one.
Trust — A trust is essentially an account that has instructions. Do you need one?
Power of attorney — Learn about the two common forms, financial and healthcare, and why they are needed.
Finding the Right Attorney
Feeling comfortable with the attorney you are working with and the process that they go through to set up your estate plan is key to a good experience. We can help you find an attorney that is appropriate for your situation — mainly in terms of cost of services and the complexity of services required.
We have several local attorneys with whom we have excellent relationships and we are always willing to gather referrals for out-of-state needs. We are also available to attend the meetings with the attorneys upon request.
A Properly Implemented Estate Plan
Once the estate planning documents have been created, it is critical to actually follow through with the implementation. Your attorney will let you know how to implement the estate plan and which assets to retitle as well as how to set up the beneficiaries of accounts.
It is also important to have the powers of attorney set up (both at your financial institutions and your doctor) so that they are ready to be used when needed.
We are here to assist with many of these updates as well as to monitor for future events that may require adjustments to your plan (new accounts, more children/grandchildren, marriages, death, divorce, new homes, etc.).
This information is not intended to be a substitute for individualized legal advice. Please consult your legal advisor regarding your specific situation.