Helping Clients Create Wills, Trusts, And Comprehensive Estate Plans In The Missoula Area
It is a inescapable fact of life, that, at some point, everyone must pass on. While the specific circumstances of your eventual death may be uncomfortable to consider and impossible to predict, you may feel more at peace if you know that your affairs are in order before you go. Thus, you should create a comprehensive estate plan.
At Geranios Law, PLLC, I understand that estate planning can be challenging both emotionally and legally. I also know that far too many people put estate planning off off until it is too late. While I generally only deal with simple wills and estates, I strive to make estate planning easier and more accessible to clients throughout the Missoula area by educating you on the different components of an estate plan, walking you through the necessary steps to put them in place, and bringing our services to you at a time and place that fits into your daily life.
What Exactly Is An Estate Plan?
Though you may think of estate planning as something that focuses mostly on events after your death, it can also provide many benefits during your lifetime. Some important functions of an estate plan include:
- Protecting your assets throughout your lifetime and beyond
- Ensuring that your assets pass to your chosen heirs and beneficiaries after your death
- Providing for your spouse or partner, children, and other family members
- Accounting for situations in which you become incapacitated
- Ensuring you receive the health care you want in your later years
- Solidifying your legacy for many years to come
An estate plan is not just a necessity for the elderly or the wealthy. Regardless of your age and economic status, you and your family can benefit from having a clear plan for the future.
What Does An Estate Plan Include?
There are many possible elements of an estate plan depending on your needs, but some of the most common include:
- Wills: A will is perhaps the most fundamental document for ensuring that your property and assets are administered according to your wishes after your death. In it, you can name the people and organizations to whom you wish to bestow property, as well as your preferred legal guardian for any minor children you leave behind. You can also name an executor who will be responsible for handling your estate during the probate
- Trusts: Trusts are an alternative method of passing assets to your beneficiaries. You can set aside funds or property to be managed by a trustee and distributed according to conditions that you establish. Trusts offer the added benefit of bypassing probate, and some kinds of trusts can also protect your assets from creditors and estate taxes.
- Powers of attorney: A power of attorney ensures that someone you trust has the power to make decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated either temporarily or permanently. You may choose to grant decision-making authority for matters involving your property and finances, your personal care, or both.
- Advance health care directives: An advance health care directive specifically addresses your medical care and treatment upon your incapacitation. Within it, your living will provides instructions related to your treatment preferences, and your power of attorney for health care enables a trusted person to make decisions about your care based on your instructions and their own best judgment of what you want.