Who Needs an Estate Plan?

Nearly everyone needs an estate plan regardless of where they are in their life.

  • You may want an Estate Plan in order to maintain the privacy of your assets—not being filed in open court.
  • You may want to control who will receive your assets after you die, with the least amount going to legal fees and taxes.

But what happens to control of those assets in the event you become incapacitated?  Most people do not plan for disability, yet there is a likelihood that you will become disabled for a period of time before you die.

  • Who will have control of your assets?
  • Who will be able to make medical decisions on your behalf?

Here are some examples of how estate planning can work well for anyone:

  • A couple married for several years has two children, each having a child from a previous marriage.  The couple wants to ensure both children are treated equally when the property is divided. Ms. Griffiths’ estate plan for the couple ensures their wishes are honored.  Each child will know that no preferential treatment occurred.
  • A single mother wishes to ensure her 10 year-old child is cared for in the unlikely event that the mother passes away or is incapable of making medical, parenting and financial decisions.
  • Newlyweds wish to form a pre- or post-nuptial property agreement, as well as a plan for the unlikely event that one or both of them passes away.  Later, if one of them is incapacitated – even just temporarily – the other spouse can carry out the disabled spouse’s wishes.  In the event both spouses are incapacitated, a trusted individual can be granted the authority to carry out particular wishes. This type of plan prevents poorly informed decisions, which can negatively affect the well-being of the newlyweds, as well as their loved ones.

And here is what can happen when estate planning goes wrong:

  • Picture a storage locker of Audrey Hepburn’s mementos filled to the brim.  The locker contains particular memorabilia—such as hats and scarves—that she wanted her sons to have.  Her two boys do not want to sell the property and split the profit.  Instead, they want to keep the items their mother loved and wanted them to have, but both sons want many of the same items.  Audrey Hepburn, unfortunately, had a faulty estate plan, not anticipating the potential of both sons wanting the same items.  This is not uncommon.
  • When Elvis Presley died, his estate was valued at more than $10 million. Unfortunately, by the time his debts and taxes were paid, less than $1 million actually went to his heirs.  Elvis Presley had a will, but because of poor planning, the bulk of his assets went to federal and state governments, legal and executor fees, and probate and other administrative costs.

What’s My Solution?

Protect your interests through Estate Planning.

  • Estate planning is preventive. It protects privacy, finances, tax liability, and your family.
  • Powers-of-attorney and directions for funding your trust are also services provided by the Law Office of Amber Griffiths.
  • After marriage, divorce, or birth of a child (or grandchild), most people need to create or update an estate plan. You can obtain a free consult from Amber Griffiths to determine what is needed.