When you begin to make plans for your future, you will likely need to create more than one estate planning document. In fact, there are many documents and tools that are typically part of a comprehensive estate plan. These different documents can address different things and serve different purposes, such as making sure your heirs or beneficiaries inherit in a timely manner or ensuring that your assets are protected during your lifetime so there will be wealth left to serve as your legacy.
Zimmer Law Firm can provide you with insight into what different kinds of documents are available to you when you create your estate plan. We can also help you to make legally valid documents that best help you to accomplish your goals. It is important to reach out to our legal team as soon as possible if you do not yet have a comprehensive estate plan in place so we can assist you with the creation of the types of documents that are right for you. Give us a call to find out more about the ways in which we can help you.
What is the Most Important Estate Planning Document?
There are many different estate planning documents that could be very important, so choosing the most important one is a matter of perspective. Some of the documents that many people find to be very important when they make their plans include:
- A last will and testament: Many people think of this as the most important estate planning document because it provides a simple and effective way to determine who will inherit money and property. But, while a will can be important, it has shortcomings. Assets transferred through a will must pass through the probate process, which can be time-consuming and costly. You also can’t use a will to accomplish many important goals, such as reducing or avoiding estate tax.
- A trust document: Trust documents allow you to create a trust. Trusts are versatile and powerful tools that will allow you to accomplish many goals. For example, you could use a trust to make sure a disabled loved one is appropriately provided for without jeopardizing his or her access to means-tested benefits.
- A power of attorney: When you create a power of attorney, you specify who should manage your assets and make your decisions if something happens to you. Many people think of this as one of the most important estate planning documents because it preserves your autonomy in case something happens and you become unable to communicate. You get to choose who acts for you when you create a power of attorney, rather than allowing the court to decide.
- A living will: This allows you to express your preferences regarding medical care you wish to approve or to deny when something happens to you and you can’t communicate your wishes at the time. This is an important tool because it gives you the power to make life-and-death decisions.
Zimmer Law Firm can work with you to identify which of these documents you need based on your personal and family situation as well as your goals for the future. Because everyone’s situation is different, getting personalized advice is of vital importance as you consider how you want to protect and provide for your family, secure your assets, and ensure your autonomy in case of a medical emergency.
Getting Help from an Estate Planning Attorney
An estate planning attorney at Zimmer Law Firm will assist you in identifying all of the estate planning documents that are important to you. Our firm will work closely with you to create these documents that you need and to ensure they are legally enforceable and provide the expected protections and benefits. To find out more about how our firm can help you, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 513-721-1513 at any time to learn more.