Basics of Estate Planning

Estate planning is more than just preparing a Last Will and Testament. Generally, estate planning includes a Will, a Revocable Trust (also known as a “Living Trust” – which is like a private version of a Will), durable Powers of Attorney, and an Advance Medical Directive (which includes both a “Living Will” and “Health Care Power of Attorney”). During the planning process consideration is given to titling of assets and beneficiary designations as well as selecting who will be your executor/trustee (i.e. who will be in charge of your assets when you are gone). If your estate is of a certain value, there can be estate tax issues that need to be addressed as well. Every situation is different and depends on the client’s objectives.