Estate Planning: The Foundation for Your New Beginning
First Thing First… What is an Estate Plan?
A comprehensive legal strategy executed to manage an individual’s assets & affairs during their lifetime and ensure the orderly distribution of those assets after their death. Estate planning involves making decisions about how one's property and wealth will be handled after they pass away, who will inherit it, and how financial and healthcare matters should be handled in the event they are incapacitated.
Do you need an estate plan?
While no one can see into the future, the fact is we are never guaranteed tomorrow. So, the best defense against the inevitable uncertainty of the unknown is to have a fortified plan in place. Not only will an estate plan help you prepare for what’s to come, but it will protect your loved ones, safeguard your assets, and give you some well-deserved peace of mind.
Elements of An Estate Plan
At Z Family Law, we recognize that no two families are alike, which is why we craft estate solutions tailored to your specific needs. Here are some of the estate planning services we currently offer:
- Simple and Complex Wills
- Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts
- Advanced Healthcare Directives
- Powers of Attorney
Who Needs an Estate Plan?
Everyone — at least, based on our experience. There are, however, a few groups who should give particular consideration to the estate planning process:
- Parents: From assigning a guardian for minor children to specifying asset distribution and beyond, having an estate plan is an indispensable step for parents to ensure their children and assets are taken care of according to their wishes.
- Older adults: As you age, it may become more difficult to consider what happens next, and what life looks like for friends, family members, and loved ones after you’re gone, but it’s essential to consider what you want your legacy to be, and make plans for the future.
- Business Owners: An estate plan will outline the succession plan for your business, ensuring its smooth transition to the next generation.
- College-Bound Adults: Without specific estate planning documents, parents may have difficulty accessing medical information should their adult child experience an unforeseen emergency after heading off to college.
What to Expect
A Look Inside the Estate Planning Process:
Initial Case Assessment
The first step is to conduct an Initial Case Assessment, which helps us get to know you and identify your legal goals as well as discuss your assets and any minor children, pets, and/or businesses you would like to include provisions for in your estate plan. During your ICA, you will get to know us, and we can help ensure our firm is the right fit for your needs. After the ICA, if you decide to move forward and engage our firm, the ICA fee will be applied towards the creation of your estate plan.
Once you have completed the relevant paperwork to engage Z Family Law, you’ll meet with your legal team to discuss possible estate planning solutions specific to you and your family.
Putting Pen to Paper
Once our team has the complete picture of everything your estate plan should include, we’ll get to work on crafting a unique strategy just for you.
Review and Revision
From there, we’ll work with you to tweak your estate plan to make sure it’s just right for you and your circumstances.
Finalizing Your Plan
Once your estate planning documents have been perfected, we’ll have a signing meeting to finalize your estate plan and make it official.
Now it’s time to update all your documents, and take any follow up actions, such as funding newly-created trusts and updating your beneficiaries, according to your new estate plan. If desired, we can help you file your will with the local Register of Wills, though this is optional.
Just because your estate plan is finalized doesn’t mean our time together is done — we’re always here for you! Remember: Your plan isn’t set in stone. You should update it regularly as your circumstances evolve over the years. Need assistance with additional aspects of estate administration in the meantime? We partner with trusted local businesses who can handle it all.
Finding the Right Estate Planning Attorney for You
As you navigate the estate planning process, a trusted legal team who can help you make rational, well-guided decisions about the legacy you will one day leave behind is essential. After all, when it comes to securing your family's future, the importance of making sure everything is done right cannot be overstated. By combining our vast legal experience, our tenured team can design a tailored strategy to help you ensure your love endures long after you're gone.