Estate Plan Essentials

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2015 | Firm News

Estate Plan Essentials

Most people know that they should have a will. What they don’t realize is that a complete estate plan includes much more than a last will and testament.

If you want to secure your financial future and provide protection for your loved ones, your estate plan should include some additional documents.

Essential Estate Planning

A will is definitely a good place to start, but it’s not enough for most people. Your comprehensive estate plan should also address the following critical areas:

Incapacity Planning

A last will and testament only becomes effective after you die. But what about all the time before? What happens if you become severely ill or disabled? Who will take care of your bills and other important financial matters and health care decisions? This is why incapacity planning is a vital part of any thorough estate plan. With an incapacity plan, you can appoint a responsible, trustworthy person to oversee your financial and health care needs if you become unable to handle them on your own.

Probate Avoidance

Most people seek to avoid probate, and there are plenty of good reasons for this. The probate process can consume a tremendous amount of time and money, putting stress on loved ones left behind. A well-drafted estate plan can ensure that your heirs receive your bequests swiftly and without the burden of a prolonged probate process.

Retirement Planning

As human longevity increases, and people stay healthier well into their 70s, 80s, and beyond, it’s important to plan for an extended lifespan. You want to have enough money to live comfortably throughout all of your retirement years. Your estate plan should incorporate detailed retirement planning that helps you achieve this goal.

Business Succession Planning

Business owners work hard to build an idea into a profitable business. Many of them have a personal estate plan, but they fail to plan for how their business will survive after their death. In a family-owned business, this can create significant conflict and damaged relationships. A business succession plan provides answers for a variety of contingencies, such as what happens if the owner becomes incapacitated. By providing clear direction, it allows the business to run as smoothly as possible in the event key leadership dies or can no longer oversee the business.

Medicaid Planning

Few people like to think about the possibility of needing Medicaid, but they ignore planning for it at their financial peril. Without proper planning, you might have to pay out-of-pocket for nursing home care. A prolonged stay at a long-term care facility can consume a lifetime’s worth of assets in a relatively short amount of time. With the right strategic planning, you can preserve your estate for your spouse and other beneficiaries.

Minnesota Estate Planning and Probate Law Firm

To discuss your complete estate plan needs, call the Minnesota probate and estate planning attorneys at Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates, LLC today our office.

This website has been prepared by Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates, LLC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.