Estate Planning, put simply, is the process of arranging one’s affairs for when they pass away. This can usually be accomplished through the use of living trusts and wills. Estate Administration (which includes, Probate, Intestate Succession and Trust Administration) is how one’s affairs are handled after their death. Asset Protection, generally, refers to more sophisticated planning measures that are implemented to protect and preserve wealth both during your life and beyond.
To most, the concept of estate planning sounds relatively straightforward. You probably feel that you should dictate how and to whom your assets are distributed after you pass away, with little concern for any other issues that may arise.
The reality of estate planning, however, is not always so simple. There are a number of factors we must consider when preparing our client’s estate plans, including, but by no means limited to, the following:
• The value and types of your assets
• Your current and future income
• Your distribution desires
• Your mental and physical condition
• Other objectives, such as leaving a legacy, providing for a charity, taking care of your children or grand-children, or proving for someone with special needs
Only after reviewing all of this information can we make a recommendation on how to design your estate plan.