WHAT IS ESTATE PLANNING? 

 

Comprehensive estate planning establishes who will receive your assets after your death, and when and how the transfer of those assets will occur.  The timing and nature of these “distributions” may be influenced by a number of issues, including (but not limited to):

 

  • The ages of your beneficiaries;

  • The fiscal maturity of your beneficiaries (or lack thereof);

  • The stability (or instability) of the beneficiaries’ marriages;

  • The disabilities of any beneficiaries; and

  • The need for a beneficiary to have protection from their own creditors.

 

Additionally, comprehensive estate planning provides for you and your family, in the event you become mentally incapacitated.  It answers questions such as:

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  • Who will make the determination of whether or not you are “mentally incapacitated?”

  • Who will make financial and legal decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself?

  • Who will make your health care decisions under such circumstances?

  • Who will have access to your protected medical records, so that they can make sound medical decisions on your behalf?

In its simplest terms, comprehensive estate planning is planning for your family’s future. Surveys show that seventy percent of all Americans have done no estate planning.  For this reason, it is imperative you understand your estate planning options.  Estate planning must be flexible enough to deal with life’s changes—whether those changes are personal (e.g., the ability to change or add fiduciaries and/or beneficiaries), or whether they are prompted by external circumstances (i.e., changes in the law).

 

Finally, comprehensive estate planning should minimize or eliminate taxes and other expenses (such as attorney’s fees relating to probate, court costs, appraisal fees, etc.), while making final distributions to beneficiaries as quickly as possible and maintaining your family’s privacy.

The Finley Law Firm LLC

Estate Planning, Probate, Tax

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The Finley Law Firm LLC
13321 North Outer 40 Road
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Town & Country, MO 63017
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