Why Everyone Needs an Estate Plan

Whom do you want to receive your assets?

Who should administer your estate?

Who should care for your minor children?

What is your plan in the event of an incapacity?

These are all questions a proper estate plan is designed to address. At Tarris Law, we provide you with an up to date and comprehensive estate plan to prevent the government from deciding the fate of your children and assets. We want to ensure that you are able to control the decisions regarding your family, health, and wealth.

In order to do so there are three basic documents all individuals should have in their estate plan

  1. Durable Power of Attorney for Finances - This document allows you to name someone to manage your property and financial and legal affairs in the event of an incapacity.
  2. Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare - This document allows you to name someone to make healthcare decisions if you are unable to do so.
  3. Health Care Directive (Living Will) - This document is a directive from you to your physician indicating your wishes regarding treatment in certain limited medical situations.

Once you have accumulated assets, gotten married, or added children to your family, the following documents should also be considered.

Last Will & Testament - This document tells the courts how you want your property distributed after your death. It also allows you to name a guardian for minor children and pets and provide instructions for your funeral. However, it only becomes active if you die, it does not account for your needs if you become incapacitated. It also needs to be filed with the courts, thus making it a public document.

Trust - This document describes how property will be managed by someone for the benefit of you or a third party. Unlike wills, a trust can be used in a time of incapacity and can be used beyond death. It also proves control over your assets following whereas a will simply distributes those assets. Learn more about Trusts here.

There are benefits to both documents and in many cases, people have both in place for their estate plan. Additionally, there are many strategies a qualified attorney can use to help you avoid probate and reduce estate taxes. If you would like assistance with your Estate Plan please contact Tarris Law at 540-319-4111 or email info@TarrisLaw.com.