How to Create an Effective Estate Plan

Estate planning can be a stressful time in any person’s life. The team at Martinson and Beason, P.C. can provide you with experienced attorneys who practice estate and probate administration and make the process as pain-free as possible.

A person over the age of 19 in Huntsville, Alabama can begin planning their last will and testament. That might be a bit young, but once you start accumulating assets, it should be time to think about estate planning. Here is a quick look at some estate planning tips:

Unique Will for You

Everyone’s situation is different, so a will that was crafted for someone else might not make much sense at all to you. Each will must be customized and tailored to the individual person in order to make sure they are getting the best probate advice possible.

Power of Attorney

Having a financial (or business) power of attorney can provide you with the peace of mind you deserve in those difficult moments in the future. If you are incapacitated or impaired, a qualified power of attorney will be able to ensure that your assets are taken care of exactly how you requested. Martinson and Beason, P.C.’s team can assist you during these difficult times and will provide high-quality care.

Medical Power of Attorney

Along with a financial POA, it is important to have a few agents who can make medical decisions for you when you are unable. They will be provided with all your medical information, contact with your doctors, and can make the important decisions on your behalf.

Prepare HIPAA Releases

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act gives your family and loved ones permission to access information related to your health. Without a HIPAA release, doctors won’t be able to share this information under federal law. It is wise to have one HIPAA release for a medical POA and one for financial institutions.

Have an Advance Directive

Also known as a living will, an advance directive can lessen the burden of your medical agent. However, a living will is not a will. This is used to explain a person’s medical wishes when he or she is still alive but unable to explain themselves.

Determine What Consists of Your Estate

There is a chance you’re worth a lot more than you originally thought. Your life insurance is in the value of your estate. Along with brokerage accounts, bank accounts, stocks, interests, annuities, and everything you physically own.

Consider an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust

An ILIT benefits from a policy on your actual life. Its value is not included in your overall estate, but the trust still leaves the proceeds to all your loved ones, after the ILIT helped pay the death tax. Depending on your financial situation, you can also consider a credit shelter trust. This will preserve your unified credit and can end up saving you and your family a considerable amount of money. Your death tax estimate could be very expensive, a credit shelter trust can lessen that payment to the IRS and save your family money.

Have All Important Documents Available

All of these documents are extremely important but are worth virtually nothing if they are unable to be accessed by your family or power of attorneys. Storing these documents in a safe that only you know the combination to might seem like a good idea, but what if you become incapacitated? It is wise to let your family know where to find these documents in case something horrible were to happen. You can also always provide copies of your documents to your trusted attorney.

Work with People Who Care

These are some of the most difficult conversations people have to have and future decisions that people have to make. It is extremely important to be comfortable with your attorney. In Huntsville, Alabama, if you are thinking about your future and the future of your loved ones, working with attorneys at Martinson and Beason, P.C. can help you get the care you deserve.

Estate planning is a serious matter and should be handled professionally. At Martinson and Beason, P.C., we have experience taking estates through probate with minimum expense to the estate. If you’re worried about your family’s future, contact us today to meet with our skilled estate planning attorneys.