No two families or sets of personal circumstances are alike. The following situations require special attention, and a pro-active approach, when you or your loved ones are considering your estate-planning options:
- If you have young children, you have the right to decide who will raise them, if you are no longer here to do so. You also have the right to determine who will manage any assets you leave for them. If you don’t plan for these contingencies, you are leaving those important decisions to the state.
- If you have elderly parents, they have the right to decide who will care for them, if you are not available. They also have the right to protect their assets, in the event they require long term care in the future, so that their “nest egg” stretches until the end of their lives (and they can pass along an inheritance to their heirs). Unfortunately, most people wait too long to address these issues, and they lose control of these decisions.
- If you pass away, and you have a beneficiary with special needs, you have the right to make assets available for their benefit without jeopardizing their government benefits.
- If you are wealthy, or if you have a job with a high degree of legal exposure, you have the right to protect your assets from professional and personal liabilities (e.g., professional malpractice, business and personal traffic accidents, swimming pool tragedies, etc.).
- If you are a non-traditional couple (i.e., people who live together without a formally declaration of marriage or a gay or lesbian couple) you have the right to designate your beneficiaries; you also have the right to designate who will make medical and financial decisions for you, if you can no longer do so for yourself.
- If you are part of a blended family, “his” children, “her” children and “our” children require very specific planning in order to achieve certainty and asset protection.
- You have the right to protect the assets you and your current spouse have accumulated, so that they still pass to your family, even if he/she remarries after your death.
In each of these situations, pro-active planning can avoid unnecessary complications and disputes. If you recognize yourself in any of these scenarios, please contact ustoday so that we may assist you with your estate-planning needs.