Estate Planning is the most important step you can take to protect yourself and your family during a time of disability or after your death.
Your estate plan should lay out your wishes on how you want to be treated if you can’t communicate, how to handle your legal and financial affairs if you can’t, and what to do with your property and legacy when you pass away.
Without a proper estate plan, your estate, you, and your family could face several problems if you are disabled or when you die, including:
- Probate - Without a well-designed plan, your family may get stuck resolving your estate in probate court. The state decides, based on its laws, whether probate applies. Then, a probate judge will administer and distribute your estate.
- Family Fights - If you don’t make your intentions clear, your family members may fight over who gets what. Brutal battles can break out – even over small amounts of money or possessions. Some fights can last for years. Often, these fights end without winners – except for the lawyers and courts who rake in fees. A good plan clarifies your intentions, prevents fights, and saves time and money.
- Property Going to the Wrong People - Without a proper estate plan your property may end up in the hands of people you never intended. If you have an estranged child, an ex-spouse, or a minor child that you don’t want to receive your property, it is important to make an estate plan to lay out your instructions. Without a properly updated estate plan, the Courts may be deciding who receives your property regardless of your wishes.
- The Wrong People Being in Charge of You If You Are Disabled - Without a proper plan, you may not have the right people in charge of you while you are alive but disabled. Imagine the Courts appointing someone to be your guardian and conservator who you would not have picked. This happens frequently, especially for people who are not married or whose spouses are disabled or unable to act.
Even if the right person is put in charge of you, they may not know what you want or how you want to be treated. They may be left making hard decisions with no guidance from you. This not only leaves them in a stressful position but can lead to many family fights when other loved ones have different ideas of what to do disability and end of life.
- Property Passing with No Protections - Without a plan in place, after your property has finally cleared probate, there may be additional disasters if your children are not prepared to handle an inheritance. If they are not old enough, not mature enough, suffering from substance abuse issues, in a bad marriage, or any other issue which may be a threat to their inheritance, an outright distribution through probate or beneficiary designation may not be the way you would want them to receive property. With a proper plan in place, you can help protect beneficiaries from spending the money unwisely or having it taken away in a lawsuit or divorce.
- A Rough Transition - If you pass away without a good plan, those you care about most will suffer through an unnecessarily rough transition. The bottom line: A good plan ensures your family knows what you want done, when to do it, and who is in charge to make that transition as smooth as possible.
your family may end up fighting over your property, how to treat you, what decisions to make, and may end up in Probate Court spending your inheritance on attorney fees and court costs.
Reduce Taxes and Costs
Stop Family Fights
Keep your Estate Private
Create a smooth transition of Wealth and Wisdom
Your estate plan if a plan in place, for you and your family, through documents and discussion, that say how you want your estate to be handled if you are disabled or when you pass away.
CONTACT US TODAY TO START PROTECTING YOUR FAMILY! 636-757-3850
Estate Planning | Avoiding Probate and Protecting Your Family
What is an Estate? Do you have an Estate to Plan?
Everyone has an estate! In the most basic terms, your “Estate” is everything that you own. This includes your home, your checking account, your retirement accounts, your life insurance, your special stuff, your stocks, your bonds, your gold, your silver, your baseball collection, your multi-million dollar business, and everything else you own.
Your estate also includes yourself. Much of your estate planning decisions will be instructions on how you want to be treated if you are disabled and unable to communicate, even before your death.
Top 5 Estate Planning Documents
Do you have everything you need in your estate plan? Most families will need the following documents to make sure they are protected.
Last Will and Testament
General Durable Power of Attorney
Health Care Power of Attorney
Advanced Medical Directive
Revocable Living Trust
Our Definition of Estate Planning
I want to control my property while I am alive and well.
I want to plan for me and my loved ones if I become disabled.
Then Give What I Have To Whom I Want When I Want The Way I Want
Saving every last tax dollar and professional fee possible.
All, while assuring my wisdom is transferred along with the rest of my wealth!
START YOUR ESTATE PLANNING JOURNEY TODAY – 636-757-3850
Our Three-Step Strategy™ Can Help!
The Estate Planning Attorneys at Polaris Law Group, LLC use a unique Three-Step Strategy™ to ensure that your personalized estate plan will work in the way you want it to.
Develop your plan through a detailed counseling and design process. Going beyond merely filling out ‘off the shelf’ forms.
Transferring assets into properly titled ownership, and maintaining your plan through an ongoing, formal maintenance and education program.
Working together with your family to settle your estate at your death. Through our proactive family training programs designed to help your family understand the plan that has been put in place and ensure they are prepared with proper instructions.
With a well-drafted estate plan in place, you can rest assured that your family will not have to endure the public and costly process of probate. You will be confident that your estate will not be depleted by unnecessary taxes and fees. Most importantly, your family will know what your wishes are helping to ensure a smooth transition of your estate and decreasing the heartache caused by families fighting over the unknown.
Our client driven approach is focused on building a relationship with you and your family. We take pride in taking the time to explore all the issues that are important to you. We use this time to develop a comprehensive plan that meets our full definition of estate planning and creates a plan that works!
Why Make an Estate Plan?
What is an “Estate?”
Your ‘estate’ is everything that you own. This can include your home, cash accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance, stocks, vehicles, jewelry, and anything else that you have. Everyone has an estate, some bigger than others. Everyone benefits from an Estate Plan.
What is an “Estate Plan”?
An estate plan is a legal blueprint that defines how everything is handled when you are disabled or pass away. A good estate plan gives you the clarity, confidence, and power to:
- Control your assets while you are alive and well.
- Provide for yourself and loved ones if you become disabled.
- Give what you have left…
- To whom you want
- When you want
- The way you want
- Minimize tax bills and professional fees.
- Assure your wisdom is transferred along with your wealth.
What If I Don’t Have a Plan
Without a proper estate plan, your family and loved ones could face several problems upon your death.