Many people mistakenly assume that Estate Planning is limited to the rich and famous. However, the truth is that everybody has an estate. Your estate is everything that you own which can include property, cash, jewelry, investments, bank accounts, etc. Creating an Estate plan can help you avoid unnecessary taxes and expensive legal proceedings such as Probate and make sure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your death.
An Estate Plan can include:
Wills: A Will is a legal document which outlines your wishes on how your assets are to be distributed after your death.
Trust: A Trust is a legal entity which holds your assets. The creator of a Trust also known as the Trustor funds their Trust with the property and other assets they own. The Trustor then appoints Trustees, they can also appoint themselves as Trustees depending on the type of Trust, and also designate beneficiaries of the Trust. A Trust is necessary to avoid Probate.
Health Care Documents: Health Care Documents such as Living Wills, HIPAA Authorization Forms, and Health Care Proxies can all help you plan for your future medical care by appointing someone you trust to make medical decisions for you in the event that you are unable to make those decisions for yourself.