While many people are intimidated by the term "estate planning", it simply means to put your "affairs in order". Others believe that estate planning is reserved for those with a great deal of money or real property, what a layperson would consider to be a large estate. However, even those with minimal property need to protect themselves and their loved ones through use of the basic estate planning tools.
A summary of some of the more common documents with links to more in depth discussions follows. An experienced estate planning attorney such as Gary Stewart Seflin can help you decided which tools best suit your needs.
Will (Last Will & Testament): The foundation of your estate plan, through your Will you assign an Executor to handle your affairs, detail to whom your property passes, and assign guardians for any children or other dependants.
"Living Will," legally termed Healthcare Power of Attorney with Advanced Directives: This is the document through which you control decisions regarding your medical care should illness or an accident render you mentally incompetent and either terminally ill or permanently unconscious.
Power of Attorney: By drafting a power of attorney, you ensure that your business affairs and property are handled according to your wishes should you become unable to manage them yourself do to illness or injury.
Special Needs Trust: This document is crucial to protecting the interests of any beneficiaries with mental or physical disabilities.
Living Trust: While there are some specific circumstances under which a Living Trust may be beneficial, read this article to see why you should be wary of those marketing living trusts.
Death and potential incapacity are emotionally laden topics, making it easy to indefinitely postpone taking concrete steps to put your estate plan together. Consequently, many Americans do not have these documents in place, leaving the handling of their estate and even their own health care uncertain, and placing undue burdens on their loved ones in times of great stress.
Gary Stewart Seflin can guide you through this process and give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that, should the worst happen, your wishes will be followed.
Estate Planning is too important for yourself and your loved ones to let anyone other than an experienced Estate Attorney handle your affairs. To arrange a free consultation with Gary Stewart Seflin, Esquire, call 610-892-9700 or fill out our Contact Form here.