Estate plans are not just for wealthy and retired people. Everyone—regardless of age, marital status, property and assets, or dependents—needs to have certain legal documents in place to be prepared for whatever life may bring. Working with an attorney to complete these important documents is estate planning in its most basic form. Other people may have more to think about, such as protecting considerable assets, avoiding certain taxes, planning for a special needs dependent, or holding assets in a trust. Whatever your estate planning needs are—from basic to beyond—you can count on Miller Law Office, PLLC to provide you with the highest level of service.
Basic Estate Planning
When you meet with Attorney Aaron Miller in our Plano office, he will take the time to get to know you on a personal level and help you decide what you need right now in terms of an estate plan. In general, a basic estate plan consists of the following six documents:
- Will. A will is a document that says who gets your assets after you pass away, but until you pass away and go through probate, it is just a piece of paper.
- Financial power of attorney. This document gives a trusted person the authority to act on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Depending on the scope of the power of attorney, that person could manage your bank accounts, buy and sell real estate, and generally deal with other people on your behalf.
- Medical power of attorney. This gives someone the authority to make medical decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself.
- HIPAA release. This document grants the named person or persons the ability to access your medical information.
- Living will. Also known as a directive to physicians, this document makes your wishes known if you are on life support and unable to communicate.
- Declaration of guardianship. In the event of later incapacity, this document allows you to decide who will be in charge of making sure your physical needs are taken care of and who would be in charge of your finances.
While you may have found that many of these forms are available online at low or no cost, you could be taking a big risk by not working with an attorney. These are important documents, and you want to make sure they are legally valid in case anything happens to you.
Advanced Estate Planning: Going Beyond the Basics
While basic estate planning will take care of some important tasks when you die or are left incapacitated, many people need the benefits of advanced estate planning. With these estate planning tools, you can protect your assets from creditors, nursing homes, and taxes, and you can plan for beneficiaries who will need special services or financial management. Advanced estate planning may include the following:
- Asset protection. This process allows us to review your assets and determine which are exempt and which are not exempt from creditor and nursing home claims in the event of an unexpected disability and to put measures in place to protect them.
- Trust planning. Using trust instruments beyond the basic will can give you more control over how your assets are used while you are alive and what happens to them after you pass.
- Planning for special needs beneficiaries. After discussing all of the needs of your disabled or problem beneficiaries, we can then plan accordingly with certain trust documents that you will always control.
Many of our clients have no idea what they need until they meet with us to discuss their options. No online document can do that for you.
See the Miller Law Office, PLLC Difference
Having the right estate plan in place can give you the peace of mind you deserve as you think about the future. Attorney Aaron Miller’s goal is to take a load off your shoulders by creating an estate plan that is tailored to your unique situation. We are a small firm that can afford to take the time to get to know every one of our clients and assess their goals. As the years go by and your needs change, we are here to make adjustments and keep your plan current. We are your estate planning attorney for life.
If you have questions or would like to discuss the benefits of protecting your family, please call (214) 292-4225 or fill out the form on this page.