When you are considering an estate plan, you likely know that wills and trusts may be a part of it. Wills and trusts are very commonly used estate planning tools which most people are familiar with. However, there may be more to your plan for your future than just a simple will or a few trusts. You need to know exactly what documents and legal tools will help you to take care of yourself and your loved ones, and it pays to get professional advice on your best course of action.
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC is a law firm focused on estate planning. When you need help from a Vermont trusts and estates lawyer with unparalleled experience and a focus on client service, Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC is the best choice. Contact us today so we can get started on creating a comprehensive estate plan for you with all of the essential document you need.
Trusts & Other Key Documents to Include In Your Estate Plan
The documents that you need to include in your estate plan will depend upon the specifics of your situation. What assets have you acquired and what types of assets do you own? Who do you plan to leave them too, and do you have concerns about the beneficiaries? These are just a few of the key things to think about as you decide what components of an estate plan are essential for you.
For most people creating a plan, there are some basic estate planning tools that will go a long way towards creating a stable future. For example, some of the key documents to include in an estate plan include:
- A living will. A living will details exactly what kinds of medical care you consent to receive in an emergency. Do you want to be resuscitated or do you want a DNR (do not resuscitate)? Should you be kept alive on a feeding tube, or if a machine has to breathe for you? These are questions you want to answer while you are healthy and can communicate your wishes, so you never end up putting your family in a terrible position or being kept alive by artificial means even though you don’t want that to occur.
- Power of attorney paperwork. You should create a healthcare power of attorney so someone can make decisions on your behalf in case your living will doesn’t address the particular decision that needs to be made about your medical care. You should also have a durable power of attorney naming an agent to act for you in case of incapacitation so you can rest assured someone you trust will manage your affairs. Stress for your family is also reduced if they do not have to go to court and seek guardianship, which could be necessary if someone needs to manage your assets and make your decisions and you have no power of attorney in effect.
- A last will and testament. A will is the most basic part of an estate plan. You can make your will as simple or complicated as you desire. In general, however, many people prefer to have few assets actually transferred based on the instructions in a will because any assets transferred as a result of a will must go through the probate process and could potentially be subject to an estate tax. You should get legal guidance on what to include in your will, whether you need one, and what the implications of your will are going to be for your heirs after you are gone.
- Paperwork for trusts. Trusts can be used for many different estate planning purposes, from trusts that protect your assets so you can qualify for Medicaid to trusts that take care of a special needs relative or limit access to funds for a spendthrift child. Choosing the right trust and creating it as part of an estate plan can protect assets, reduce taxes, and serve many other important purposes.
Knowing what documents you need is only half the battle- you also need to ensure that you have followed all appropriate guidelines for these estate planning tools to be enforceable and to achieve your desired outcomes. Getting the right help creating your plan from day one can save you and your family a lot of hassle and potential heartache.
Getting Help with Estate Planning from a Vermont Wills & Trusts Lawyer
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC is a top estate planning firm trusted by clients throughout Vermont who need help with wills, trust, and other documents that are part of their future plan. To learn more about how you can get help from an experienced, compassionate and knowledgeable attorney at Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC, give us a call or contact us online. You are also invited to join us for a free seminar to learn more.