When people think about an Estate Plan, they often have tunnel vision and focus on just a few of the many considerations that influence the plan. Most individuals focus on their assets and figuring out to whom they want those assets to pass. While those things matter, thinking about the intended beneficiary and their individual circumstances also matters. Certain types of beneficiaries require additional planning.
Despite knowing that they should have an estate plan, many individuals look for shortcuts to creating an Estate Plan. They rely upon advice from seemingly well-intentioned individuals that if avoiding probate is their main goal and they don’t have a taxable estate, they need not seek out an attorney to create an Estate Plan. While options exist to avoid probate, probate avoidance is just one of many considerations in creating an Estate Plan.
As the population over the age of 65 continues to grow, unique problems arise. For example, many seniors may have never married, or outlived their spouse and lack confidence that someone will help them make financial and health decisions as it becomes more difficult or when they become incapacitated. A qualified Estate Planning practitioner can provide guidance to address the issues unique to the solo senior.
As part of the Estate Planning process, an attorney explores numerous topics with the client to help create a unique plan tailored to the client’s circumstances. Many estate plans use a trust as the centerpiece of the plan. Inevitably, clients want to understand the degree, if any, of asset protection that will result from the creation of a trust. There are numerous ways to achieve asset protection planning for a client.
As more and more individuals get comfortable in the digital world, Estate Planning has evolved to address the collection and transfer of digital assets. The widespread use of a legacy contact and password managers gives owners of digital content control in determining what happens to the digital information after they die.