Estate Planning

Estate planning is planning for the accumulation, preservation and distribution of an individual’s or family’s property and planning for one’s future care.

Estate planning ensures that one’s wishes are carried out.

Dean Law Office, LLC can assist you in drafting and implementing a well-designed estate plan. Such a plan provides a sense of security and comfort that one’s wishes about one’s caregivers and distribution of assets will be carried out.

The basic estate planning documents an individual should have are: a will or trust, a durable power of attorney, a health care directive and a health care power of attorney. A beneficiary deed or transfer-on-death deed may also be useful in implementing one’s estate plan.

 

Wills

A will is a document that spells out how, when and to whom assets are distributed after your death. In the case of a parent with a minor child, the will can also designate the parent’s wishes as to who should be guardian and conservator of a minor child.

In drafting your will, you need to consider other assets such as life insurance policies, financial accounts and retirement savings (IRAs, pensions, 401(k) plans). These assets may have beneficiary designations that impact your estate plan.

A well-drafted will can reduce stress for loved ones, can disburse assets to loved ones in an orderly manner, establish family trusts and name trustees, minimize administrative fees for your estate, name guardians for minor children, designate who will receive personal items and assets, and make charitable gifts.

 

Durable Powers of Attorney

A durable power of attorney allows you to appoint someone else (called the attorney-in-fact or agent) to manage financial affairs and assets should you be unable to do so or need help in managing. Read More

 

Living Will or Health Care Directive

A living will, also known as a health care directive, instructs your health care providers as to the type of medical care you do or do not desire should you be unable to communicate such decisions. By drafting a health care directive, you can specify your preferences regarding the extent of life-sustaining measures in case you are no longer capable of making decisions regarding health care.

 

Health Care Power Of Attorney

A health care power of attorney (sometimes called a health care proxy) allows someone else you appoint (your agent) to make medical decisions for you if you are not capable of making such decision.

 

Beneficiary Deeds Or Transfer-On-Death Deeds

These deeds are drafted and filed during one’s lifetime and transfer real estate upon one’s death. The principal keeps the right to sell the property or revoke the deed.

 

Trusts

Trusts are classified as revocable or irrevocable and living or testamentary. Read More

 

The Estate Planning Process

Make a list of assets: bank accounts, real estate, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, etc. Play close attention to how the asset is titled. If you hold property in joint tenancy with a right of survivorship, that provision will trump any provision in a will. Read More

Dean Law Office LLC can draft the documents you need to accomplish your estate plan. Call Margaret Dean at 816-753-3100 or email attorneya@aol.com.