Estate planning manages the distribution of your assets to your loved ones after you pass away. Many people wonder what type of estate plan is right for them and their families. Most people aren’t sure what estate planning entails, and are unaware of the key elements of the process. Planning a customized estate plan, will, or trust only seems like a complex procedure. With the help of a qualified attorney, planning your estate can be effortless.

The decisions you must make to create an adequate estate plan are very important. It’s best if these decisions are overseen by a qualified estate planning attorney to ensure you’ll receive the proper care when it’s most important.
Last Will and Testament. A last will and testament is the most well-known key element of an estate plan. A last will and testament is a legally binding document that describes an individual’s options for distributing their assets after their death. It lays out your specific wishes for after you die. When an individual passes away without a last will and testament, the totality of their assets are turned over to the state of Utah. Bank accounts, securities, real estate, and other valuable assets become property of the state government and are distributed however the state sees fit.

Creating a last will and testament ensures your assets will be distributed to your loved ones as you have explicitly intended. You can opt to distribute your assets however you decide among family members friends and other loved ones. Some people opt to donate money to a charitable organization of their choosing. A will is required to undergo court probate after you pass away, which drives many individuals to opt for a trust instead.
You deserve to have your final wishes fulfilled in whichever way you see fit. Whatever your final wishes may be, an estate planning attorney can help be sure your goals are accomplished. The Amicus Law Firm are not just concerned with legal matters. We’re concerned with bring the utmost standard of care and comfort to your family. We’re dedicated to educating you on every option before you, so you can decide which estate planning tool is best aligned with your final wishes.

A revocable or “living” trust.A revocable trust or “living trust” is another popular option for planning your estate. Similar to a Last Will and Testament, a revocable trust is a legal document that dictates how you would like to distribute your assets after you pass away. It keeps the trustors privacy intact, and beneficiaries often receive their funds quicker than they would with a standard will.

The main difference between a living trust and a will is the time at which the legal document is executed. A will lays out your wishes for after you die. A revocable, living trust is a legal document that becomes effective as soon as you create it. It’s a flexible estate planning tool that can be modified in any way you see fit during your lifetime. You can lay out a plan for distributing your assets to beneficiaries, and change it over time if you feel that it’s necessary. As long as you are still alive, you can change the conditions of the living trust. Most people use living trusts to avoid court probate after they pass away. Probate is a process that in which a will is reviewed to ensure it’s been properly executed and is a legally credible document. Probate can be a lengthy and costly process. It delays the administration of the trustor’s fund to beneficiaries. The simplest way to avoid the probate process to create a revocable trust instead of a standard Last Will and Testament.

Power of attorney. Power of attorney is another key element of an estate plan. Power of attorney is a legal document that delegates any chosen individual to make important decisions on your behalf, should you become unable to do so in your lifetime. Amicus Law Firm can arrange a power of attorney for you or on behalf of your elderly loved one. Arranging a power of attorney is an important step in the estate planning process. Many individuals will eventually turn to their power of attorney for important decision-making. As a person ages, they may become unfit for making important life decisions. For example, a perfectly healthy person may be actively working and in great health. However, in the unfortunate event that that person suffers a stroke, over the years their mental and physical capabilities may decline and they may become unfit to make life-changing decisions for themselves. As people age, their cognitive abilities decline. By assigning a power of attorney early on in life, you can rest assured and have peace of mind knowing you’ve appointed a trusted individual to make important decisions for you if you’re unable to do so.

Health care proxy. A health care proxy is somewhat similar to the concept of a power of attorney. A health care proxy is a legal document that enables you to appoint another person to make important medical decisions on your behalf, in the unfortunate event you become incapable of doing so. For example, imagine an individual who gets into a devastating car accident and is in a coma. If that individual is unable to communicate and make decisions for themselves, they will have no say in how their medical treatment is executed. Many people have strong religious beliefs or personal obligations that can affect the type of treatment they choose to receive. If you suffer a debilitating injury and have an established legal health care proxy, your wishes can still be honored via your health care proxy. Life is unpredictable, and tragic accidents can happen in a moment’s notice. A devastating accident can happen to anyone, at any time. By taking proactive measures now, you can ensure your peace of mind in the future.

Contact Amicus Law Firm at any time for a no-obligation consultation. If you have any questions about the estate planning process, our team of attorneys can help.