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Estate Planning

Having an estate plan is necessary for every adult – no matter your age, whether you have a disability, and regardless of how much money or property you have!

An “estate plan” is a group of documents containing your instructions – about what decisions you want your chosen agents to make for you if you pass away or if you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. The purpose of estate planning is to help you craft plans that reflect your goals and values and that will best answer your “what-if” questions about the future, such as:

  • “What will happen if I cannot manage my own money or health care?”
  • “When I pass away, what will happen to my assets (my property, money, and/or belongings)?”

Estate planning is essential if one of your goals is to avoid guardianship and/or conservatorship. By making an estate plan, you are providing instructions to ensure that if you cannot make your own decisions in the future, then your agents—your loved ones or chosen advocates—will be empowered to make decisions about your medical care, your finances, or your assets (your “estate”) that will honor your wishes.

An estate plan typically includes:
  • A health care directive for medical matters
  • A power-of-attorney for financial matters
  • A will for when you pass away
  • (Sometimes, estate planning also includes placing assets in one or more trusts)

Our attorneys can educate and advise you on how to avoid probate or how to use the probate process to your best advantage. We can assist you to ensure that the way you have your assets titled (with proper beneficiary and payable-on-death or “POD” designations) is the best strategy for you.

For peace of mind, for you and your loved ones or advocates, everyone—no matter their situation—should have a basic estate plan in place that includes a health care directive, a financial power-of-attorney, and a will.

Life is unpredictable; ensure that you are prepared. Contact Us today to start planning as soon as possible.

(See the right-hand sidebar for more information about Northwoods Law Group’s other practice areas.)

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