People are sometimes confused on estate planning. And no wonder. It seems like everyone, from their insurance agent, financial advisor, accountant, or attorney, wants to help with their “estate planning.” And if you asked each one of those what estate planning is, you would probably get different answers. While other professions focus on your finances, only lawyers can put together the documents you need for a comprehensive estate plan.
Why? Because Estate Planning is more than just ensuring your finances go where you want after you die. Estate planning is putting together a plan that answers these questions, Who Has Access? Who has Control? And When? And we ask those about our finances, and, the bigger question is what about ourselves?
What do I mean? Well, while I am alive and well (when), I have control of myself and my stuff. And whoever I say has access to my stuff. But if I am no longer able to handle my finances because I am incapacitated (when), then my wife will have control and whoever she says will have access. Did I leave that to chance? No, I have a plan in place to cover that. But what happens if I die (when)? Then she has control and access as well. If she remarries after I die? Well, she will still have control, but new spouse certainly won’t have access to it. Again, I don’t leave this to chance, I have planned for it. What if my wife doesn’t remarry, but dies? Well, then a family member will have access and control, and they will protect the money for the benefit of my children, who are all minors.
An estate plan really comes down to access, control, and timing.
Want to learn more? Pick up the phone and call us at 214-292-4225.