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Did the pandemic inspire you to get an estate plan?

| Feb 24, 2021 | Estate Planning |

If so, you are not alone. But what is the first step? If you are interested in putting together an estate plan, you may feel overwhelmed. Do you write a will? What about a trust? What is the right choice for your family?

The following will answer some common questions that families ask about putting together an estate plan during the pandemic.

#1: Do I have enough assets to justify an estate plan?

Estate plans are not just for the wealthy. First, it is important to keep in mind that an estate plan does more than just distribute assets. A well-rounded estate plan should also include a healthcare directive or living will. These documents help to guide healthcare decisions in the event that you become incapacitated and unable to communicate your wishes.

An estate plan should also include provisions directing guardianship preferences for families with minor children.

#2: Do I need a trust?

A trust is a legal tool that guides the distribution of assets, and can provide for 3rd party control over assets left to a child, spouse, or other beneficiary.

A trust is particularly useful in families with young children, blended families, or families who have reason to ensure funds are used wisely. With proper planning, a trust can also limit a creditor’s ability to claim assets to pay debt and can also manage estate tax issues.

#3: Can I do this on my own?

Although you could write up your own estate plan or use a prepared document purchased online, this option is not always wise. These documents do not account for your unique personal situation. As a result, it could lead to unexpected and unintended consequences. In contrast, having a plan drafted to your specific situation with the help of an experienced attorney better ensures your wishes are met and reduces the risk of any surprises in the future.