Who needs an estate plan?
You do. If you’re young and single, you may need only a few relatively simple items, such as beneficiary designations and medical and financial powers of attorney. If you have minor children, you need a will to name a guardian. If you have substantial wealth, you will need one or more trusts to help control how your assets are taxed, managed and distributed.
No matter how large or small your estate is, a sound estate plan remains the best assurance that your assets will be distributed to the heirs you select in the way you choose. It can also help protect your financial security should you become incapacitated. While reducing taxes can be an important goal, it is not the only reason to develop an estate plan. While recent tax changes removed many of the worries and the uncertainties involved in estate planning, having the proper documentation and the correct fiduciary remain an essential financial planning tool. Futurity Capital LLC has been named as Trustee or Successor Trustee for clients across the United States.
Contact us today to set up an appointment for us to review your will and trust agreements or to discuss Trustee arrangements - 540-441-7699.
What is estate planning?
Broadly defined, estate planning is the process of accumulation, management, conservation and transfer of wealth considering legal, tax and personal objectives. It is the systematic approach to organizing your personal and financial affairs in order to deal with the possibility of mental incapacity and certain death.
• Effective & efficient transfer of property
• Assets transferred to the person or institutions intended
• Transfer costs minimized
It also includes understanding your estate, from how to gain the most benefits for you today and how to protect it for future generations. We also include Charitable Giving, which allows you to support those organizations whose work you admire while reaping a tax advantages for you and your heirs.
Depending on your current family and financial situations, your foundational estate plan will include four or five essential legal estate planning documents.
Will-Based Estate Planning
If your current family and financial situations do not warrant the need for a Revocable Living Trust, then your foundational estate plan will include the following four important legal documents:
1. Last Will and Testament
2. Advance Medical Directive (a.k.a. health care powers of attorney)
3. Living Will
4. Financial Power of Attorney
Trust-Based Estate Planning
If your current family and/or financial situations warrant the need for a more sophisticated estate plan, then your foundational estate plan will include the following five important legal documents:
1. Pour Over Will
2. Revocable Living Trust
3. Advance Medical Directive (a.k.a. health care powers of attorney)
4. Living Will
5. Financial Power of Attorney
An Advance Medical Directive is an essential part of any estate plan. It allows you to state your medical wishes and name someone to act on your behalf in the case of incapacitation.
If you do have an Advance Medical Directive, be certain that it was established after 2003 and that it contains the proper Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act language (HIPAA). If not, it may be worthless.
An Advance Medical Directive may be even more important for same sex, unmarried or other non-traditional couples. It is best to leave no doubt about your intentions, especially in the case of potential disputes with family members. Without an Advance Medical Directive, one has no documentation allowing a loved one to make decisions. If the partner is not named, he or she would have no rights in many states. In fact, they may not even be allowed to be in the ICU or hospital room.